'Peaky Blinders' filming was cancelled because Helen McCrory and Cillian Murphy were not "comfortable" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Helen McCrory

Helen McCrory

Production on the sixth season of the drama was halted on 16 March - a week before businesses were closed due to the health crisis - and the 51-year-old actress admitted many of those working on the set had realised "something very big [was] coming".

The following day, she and Cillian - who leads the cast as Tommy Shelby - told producers they wanted to stop filming, and show bosses agreed it was the right thing to do.

Helen - who plays Polly Gray - told Deadline: "The next morning I woke and told my producer I'm not comfortable doing this anymore... Cillian Murphy did the same.

"Together with the producers, we approached the BBC and said we're going to pull this now before we have to do this down the line."

And the actress - who has children Manon, 13, and Gulliver, 12, with husband Damian Lewis - admitted work is far from her thoughts at the moment as the pandemic continues.

She reflected: "That all seems like a very different world at the moment. Terribly unimportant."

'Peaky Blinders' filming was halted at the same time work stopped on the new series of 'Line of Duty'.

A BBC spokesperson said at the time: "In light of the spread of Covid-19, after much consideration, the producers - Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions - of 'Peaky Blinders' S6 have postponed filming, and World Productions on 'Line of Duty' S6 have suspended filming, both in consultation with and supported by the BBC.

"We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organization and Public Health England."

More than 55,000 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.

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