With Peaky, Steven Knight played a blind role in restoring Brum’s pride | Rebecca Nicholson
Peaky Blinders is back and with it the most brummie and brummie accents you’re likely to hear on TV all year, at least until Chef makes his recently announced move to Birmingham and Gregg Wallace is forced to start calling everyone “babe”. In the Radio schedules Last week, Peaky Blinders creatorSteven Knight had a chat with Adrian Chiles about how the series has reignited a sense of mythology in the city. “I thought very consciously that what we don’t do in Birmingham – and indeed England as a whole – is mythologize our own environment and be bold about it,” Knight said.
It is certainly true that Peaky Blinders created a whole mythological industry around her. I have already written about the proliferation of Peaky Blinders– themed pub crawls, how you’d be hard-pressed to go out in the West Midlands (and beyond) on a Saturday night without seeing at least a flat cap and waistcoat. Last year, I tested a car in a village that the mechanic had sworn to me was a Peaky Blinders filming location and while nothing on Google or, for that matter, onscreen could confirm his story, that sense of local pride was palpable.
Knight mentioned “a kind of cultural setback,” pointing out that Americans write songs about almost all of their cities, while we seem a little embarrassed about some of ours. Cultural recoil was coined by academic AA Phillips in 1950, who used it to describe an Australian sense of inferiority to the country’s culture. In the UK, there are plenty of cities without inferiority complexes. Cultural giants such as Manchester and Liverpool are happy to celebrate their stories and you can’t turn on the TV right now without getting stuck in the six-hour vortex of edgy drama unfolding in Bristol.
But attention is biased. I say this as someone from Lincolnshire, widely celebrated for being flat, and I can’t think of many songs or TV shows that mythologize this. Tinie Tempah mentioned Scunthorpe in a song, but only to say he had never been there. Much of British humor is based on pissing ourselves in, especially ourselves, and I guess that makes it harder to celebrate anything.
But British cities are full of character and it’s a shame to limit the stories to the usual stories. Where are the Lichfield romantic comedies? Why aren’t there more thrillers set in Hull? Knight has proven that we just have to make an effort to instill some local pride and more will follow.
Oti Mabuse: the show is over when you dazzle the “stars”
After seven years and two victories, Oti Mabuse has announced his departure from Come dance strictly. “She leaves a dazzling legacy behind her, as the only professional dancer to lift the Glitter Ball trophy two years in a row,” said the BBC’s official statement, which was sweet, if a bit like an obituary. . The ever-popular Mabuse managed to overcome the talent gap, picking up wins as the partner of Kelvin Fletcher and Bill Bailey; her range is unparalleled and it doesn’t look like it will be quite the same show without her.
Still, for some time now, Mabuse has arguably been more famous than half the famous contestants who do. Strictly. She’s everywhere on TV, on every channel, presenting, guesting, doing Tipping point. At the start of a new series, telling the difference between a professional dancer and a famous person is never the easiest task, and sometimes it can feel like a draw. (If there’s any mention of TikTok or the word “YouTuber,” I know I’m in trouble.) Watching her team up with someone who once appeared in Hollyoaks in 2009 would seem strange now. She will be missed, but surely it is time for her next step.
‘Simon Leviev’: You’ve seen the scam, now get the T-shirt
Viewers who saw the jaw-dropping documentary on Netflix The Tinder scammer will know Simon Leviev, real name Shimon Hayut, a man who, according to the film, pulled off a huge scam that separated several women from a huge amount of money.
According to the documentary, he claimed to be the billionaire son of a diamond dealer, wooed women he met on the dating app by flying them across Europe, told them that he and his bodyguard , Peter, were attacked, then asked them to send him tens of thousands of dollars. What’s amazing – and tragic and heartbreaking – is that they did.
As history indicates, we live in a time that has a complicated relationship with the concept of shame. Leviev, meanwhile, has become a celebrity. It was terribly inevitable. An American talent agency hired him. His website whips up T-shirts with “tags” from the film, charmingly reviving its panicked message, “Peter is hurt, send money,” by displaying it on the chest; you can add a custom video for $200.
I wonder if he would make an impression on the women who thought they loved him sobbing over the mountain of debt they racked up so he could spend a lavish vacation in Mykonos with a new girlfriend. In his first interview since the movie, he denies being a scammer as claimed – the two years in prison in Finland for fraud must have been an anomaly – but again he is selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which seems to be a reliable indicator of character. The women who spoke about their experiences in the documentary, meanwhile, were trolled.