It's not a new formula for TV shows to kill off a character. Soap operas around the country will sometimes tease an upcoming death for weeks in order to get audiences engaged, whereas other shows might spring it on viewers and clasp their fingers together (Mr Burns style) when social media goes into meltdown.

Credit: BBC/Peaky Blinders

That couldn't apply more to John Shelby in the hit BBC series Peaky Blinders. After appearing in 19 episodes, his downfall came when he shot several times by Mafia mobsters led by Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody).

But while some people wished John Boy would have lasted for the rest of the series, it appears he has received a better offer for his career. Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has told a press conference: "I'm not a believer in pulling a prominent character's death out of the bag in order to shock people or to get people to talk about it, because I think it's a law of diminishing returns.

"I think you have to be very careful."

He's not wrong in the slightest.

Look at shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, two beloved TV series, but after eight and seven seasons respectively, there is only so much character killing that viewers can handle, tolerate and respect.

Joe Cole John Shelby

Credit: BBC/Peaky Blinders

Knight continues: "Sometimes it's to do with the character. Sometimes it's to do with... you know, Peaky is getting a huge amount of attention, in the States and here [in the UK], so our actors are being picked up for other things.

"When they get picked up for other things, we're not like the American system where you tie the actor in for five series from the beginning and they can't leave. All our people are free to leave whenever they want. We wouldn't have it any other way, but we have to factor that in."

After being in the Peaky Blinders universe since the start, Joe says there wasn't too much emotion on his last day of filming.

Joe told the Independent: "It was business as usual really, just wrapping what's been a fantastic period of my life. Because the shooting scene didn't require a lot of the main cast and because we have different crews each year it was a pretty low-key exit to be honest.

"I had other projects on and I felt it was the right time to go, really. So it was just a case of feeling like letting some of the other characters grow."

But if you're feeling attached to the actor who plays John Shelby, Joe Cole, he's going to be in plenty of upcoming material. You'll get to see his mug in season four of Black Mirror, and two films Thank You For Your Service and Woodshock.

Sources: Digital Spy, Independent

Katey Roberts

Katey is the Junior Social Editor of PRETTY52. She recently graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, with a degree in Film and Media and her expertise is in entertainment news and celebrity culture. Contact her -

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