One of Greater Manchester’s most iconic historical buildings pops up, very briefly, as a location in this final season of Peaky Blinders.
When Tommy – who is MP for Birmingham South as well as a notorious gangster – pops along to give a speech to Labour party supporters, it’s Salford Lad’s Club that he approaches.
The club has been there since 1903.
Both the inside and the outside of Arley Hall have become familiar sights while watching the BBC’s hit gangster drama.
And this year was no different – including an, erm, explosive moment right in the final episode.
The grand Cheshire mansion has been there from the very opening scene of season six, and its rooms have doubled up as Tommy’s study and the family’s dining room.
Castlefield’s historic cobbled streets have doubled up as Birmingham’s Small Heath for the final instalment of Peaky Blinders.
It caused a lot of excitement when the huge set was built, including a mock-frontage of the Garrison Pub owned by the Shelby clan.
The area beneath the railway bridge was even used in the season finale’s dramatic shoot-out scene.
Castlefield was also used for Chinatown, complete with red lanterns and fake tea houses.
The pyrotechnics were back out in force here, when Tommy dropped a bomb off one of the footbridges over the canal.
There were 1930s-style Chinese adverts plastered on billboards too, along with a poster advertising Shelby Dry Gin.
Lee Quarry, Bacup
Over in Lancashire, the Lee Quarry in Bacup provided a dramatic backdrop for Tommy’s encounter with his ex-sister in law Esme.
The former working quarry is now a free-to-use mountain bike trail.
There’s absolutely no mistaking this Manchester landmark, even if the Peaky Blinders team have rebranded it to the Midland.
This is the Hotel Gotham on King Street, a huge art deco five-star hotel that is one of Manchester’s most beautiful buildings.
Its familiar exterior only gets a very brief appearance before Tommy heads inside to a nondescript hotel room.
Featured image: BBC
TV & Showbiz
85-year-old gran from Altrincham stars in new Adidas running advert
Everyone’s favourite gran, Barbara Thackray, is back in the headlines and this time she isn’t just jogging and raising money, she’s featuring in Adidas’ brand new running advert.
The Altrincham-born and bred grandmother, who has become a local legend and inspiration across the UK with her incredible fitness and fundraising feats in recent years, is no stranger to being interviewed following her amazing efforts, but now she’s popped up in the new Adidas running ad too.
Barbara stars alongside the likes of Liverpool footballer Mo Salah, Qatari hurdler Mariam Farid and Egyptian runner Khadija Hegazy in the new TV and YouTube ad spot.
In the genuinely moving minute-long commercial, Barbara’s lovely little face pops up right at the end. Always save your best till last.
Actually quite stirring and inspiring, right?
Maybe it’s just us going soft in our old age (we never used to well up and interviews, promise), or maybe it’s because we know all the truly wonderful things she’s been doing for charity and her local community of late.
The Alty nan, who turned 85 earlier this month — the same day she broke her own PB in the annual Trafford 10k — has raised over £20,000 for St Ann’s Hospice in just a few short years, having been a champion of the organisation for more than 10 years amongst her sister’s illness and eventual passing.
She only started running when she turned 77 but now she runs around 12 miles every week.
The organisation’s Fundraising Manager, Lucy Leeming, said: “The awareness Barbara has raised across Greater Manchester for the importance and vitality of St Ann’s Hospice has undeniably helped raise funds and awareness for our charity.
“Her passion and dedication to towards our charity shines through in everything she does for us, we’re so grateful to have her support.”
As for Barbara herself, she’s still encouraging people of all ages to get into running; her only advice is “to begin gently and listen to your body.” No wonder the global sports brand chose her: she embodies everything the campaign is about.
To show this Alty gran some love and help her continue her incredible efforts, you can donate HERE.
Soccer AM cancelled after nearly 30 years on the air
Sky Sports have reportedly made the decision to cancel British TV and sporting institution Soccer AM after nearly three decades on the air.
The iconic football and comedy talk show which first aired in 1995 and enjoyed huge popularity throughout the 90s and early 2000s is set to end at the end of this season (its 28th) with just 10 episodes left, as per an exclusive report by The Sun.
According to a source who revealed details to the outlet, Soccer AM will be axed at the end of the 2022/23 season due to low ratings and viewing figures, which have both gradually decreased over time — as has the running time, which went from 240 minutes to just 90 in more recent years.
The insider went on to claim that the decision has come as “a complete bombshell” to those involved with the programme, with “morale at an all-time low”.
Staff on the show were reportedly told of the cancellation on Tuesday, with their last episode airing on Saturday, 27 May, the day before the end of the Premier League season, at which point they will be made redundant.
Issuing a response to the news, a Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Soccer AM has played an important role in our coverage of football for the past three decades, and we continually adapt to the evolving needs of our customers.
“We now go into a period of consultation to discuss the proposed changes with our people. We are unable to provide more detail while these consultations are underway.”
As for current presenters John Fendley and former footballer Jimmy Bullard, who have been at the helm of the show since 2019, the two are said to have been left “fuming” by the decision. Figures from within Sky and around the footballing world have been paying tribute to the programme.
The show began with Russ Williams and long-time host Helen Chamberlain presenting back in 1995 before the latter was joined by veteran TV personality Tim Lovejoy just a couple of years later, with the two going on to become the most famous pairing in the show’s history.
As well as recurring comedic guest ‘Tubes’ (Peter Dale), some of the most famous guests you can think of made their way through Soccer AM‘s doors down the years, including the likes of Oasis, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kevin Hart, Dave Bautista, umpteenth footballers and countless others — you name ’em.
However, the show was not without its controversies and reflected a very different time and admittedly outdated part of British culture, to say the least.
Perhaps the most infamous serial segment of the show was its ‘Soccerette’ feature, which saw attractive young women walk into the studio and asked how old they were as men cheered “great age!”
The show obviously had to evolve over time but sadly its viewership continued to dwindle, no matter how much affection there was back in its heyday.
Speaking to Mirror Sport back in May 2022, leading figure Bullard admitted “it’s hard trying to refresh a show every single week with all the new material”, but that he still found it a privilege to be trusted with reinventing a show that is still “the start of a lot of people’s mornings on a Saturday.”
It was certainly far from perfect and pretty problematic at times, but it still played a huge role in the lives of many British people and young football fans’ formative years.