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'Peaky Blinders' fans emotional after heartfelt Helen McCrory tribute

Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory as Aunt Polly
(Image credit: BBC)

Peaky Blinders season 6 is finally on our screens, with fans moved by the drama's tribute to star Helen McCrory, who died aged 52 in April 2021.

The show's end credit declared that the episode was "dedicated to the memory of Helen McCrory OBE".

In the BBC1 hit, Aunt Polly, played by McCrory, was killed by the IRA, after Thomas Shelby tried to assassinate fascist leader Oswald Mosley.

The tribute included a three-minute-long silence where the gang set fire to a caravan containing Aunt Polly's body and belongings.

During the scene, all the lead characters are present to say goodbye, which was particularly poignant as their on-screen send-off was also them paying tribute to a coworker and friend.

Fans have taken to Twitter to praise the way they handled McCrory's death while giving a touching and heartfelt goodbye to her beloved character Aunt Polly. Many have praised the "quietness" of the scene as characters take time to pay their respects.

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McCrory played the role of Elizabeth "Polly" Gray from the very beginning of Peaky Blinders, so she was a huge part of the cast. She was the aunt of Arthur, Thomas, John, Ada, and Finn Shelby, and found herself as the matriarch of the Shelby family.

Aunt Polly was a much-loved character both and played a significant role in the Peaky gang as Tommy himself even said if he were to die, she would assume permanent charge over it. 

She was especially protective over Finn, the youngest Shelby, as he was only eleven during the first season and she tried her best to shield him from the atrocities. 

Aunt Polly's death was part of a very emotionally charged first episode, as everyone is still reeling from the failed assassination plot and trying to pick up the pieces, particularly Tommy who is now forced to deal with the consequences while navigating new threats for the Peaky Blinders.

Peaky Blinders continues on BBC1 at 9pm on Sun 6 March, with episodes also available on-demand via BBC iPlayer. How to watch Peaky Blinders season 6 online from anywhere.

Lucy Buglass
Lucy Buglass

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance