'Peaky Blinders' director Anthony Byrne insisted Aberama Gold and Barney Thompson's deaths were necessary.

Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen

The BBC period drama's creator Steven Knight has previously admitted he regrets killing off the two characters - played by Aidan Gillen and Cosmo Jarvis respectively - in the season five finale after Tommy Shelby's (Cillian Murphy) plot to kill Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) was unveiled.

Reflecting on the double murder during a live stream interview with Digital Spy, he said: "We talked about it before we shot the Bingley Hall sequence which was a huge undertaking logistically as well.

"He had mentioned it and he'd also mentioned Barney because Cosmo Jarvis is such a fantastic actor.

"But I think that's Steve's thing, he loves all those characters so much he doesn't want to kill any of them.

"But you have to, you have to let the show do what it needs to do and it has to evolve and bring new characters in."

Anthony explained that as a writer you can't keep all the characters around forever, but he did reserve praise for Aidan and his performances in the fifth season.

He added: "You can't hold onto all of them and Aidan is a really good friend and I think what he did in series five was really great.

"He's such a fine actor but I think Steve reacts the way fans react to stuff."

Showrunner Steven previously opened up about his own feelings over Aberama's death at the hands of a mystery assailant.

He said: "I should have kept him alive, I could have just wounded him."

When it came to Barney's death - which occurred before he could carry out the assassination plot - he added: "I really wish I could have kept him alive now because he's such a good actor."