Peaky Blinders actor Paul Anderson has received a fine illegal drug possession following his appearance in court. Anderson, known for his portrayal of Arthur Shelby in the popular BBC series about a gang in Birmingham, was charged with possession of crack cocaine (a class A drug), amphetamines (a class B drug), and two prescription substances falling under class C.
The 48-year-old actor pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined a total of £1,345. According to reports, Anderson's lawyer mentioned that he sometimes adopts his character's persona to please fans who recognize him.
Anderson appeared in Highbury Corner magistrates court on Thursday, January 25. During the proceedings, he confirmed his identity and address in north-west London and only spoke to enter his guilty pleas.
Anderson was found in possession of the illicit substances at a pub on Boxing Day. The manager of the establishment reportedly alerted the police. Upon arrival, the officers escorted Anderson to a police station where they discovered crack cocaine, amphetamines, diazepam, and pregabalin.
Anderson's lawyer, in mitigation, stated that his client had not been smoking crack cocaine and explained, "You will recognize the defendant from a very intense part that he has played in a recent television programme. He is often recognized and does his best to please fans of the show by slipping into character. He was recognized on that Boxing Day and tried to play up for these people. He has found himself in an unfortunate position and should have had the strength to say no."
An insider claimed that these charges might hinder Anderson's ability to reprise his role as Arthur Shelby in an upcoming Peaky Blinders film, despite his character being pivotal in the series. Creator Steven Knight previously hinted that the movie would hit cinemas by spring 2024, stating that he had long envisaged a story that focused on the Peaky Blinders during the Second World War .