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From skin-fades… to skinheads: Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight makes casting call for new show about the Birmingham ska scene – and extras MUST have shaved heads

Forget the skin-fade, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is looking for something even more extreme as casting gets underway for his latest project. 

Knight, arguably responsible for keeping hipster barbers in steady employment thanks to the haircut favoured by Cillian Murphy and his band of criminally minded brothers, is now looking for skinheads after issuing a casting call. 

The writer and producer is currently developing new show This Town, an exploration of the popular ska scene that exploded in Birmingham during the late 1970s and early ’80s. 

All change: Forget the skin-fade, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is looking for something even more extreme as casting gets underway for his latest project

All change: Forget the skin-fade, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is looking for something even more extreme as casting gets underway for his latest project

A synopsis for the show – which focuses on a group of disenfranchised teens as they immerse themselves in the sub-culture – reads: ‘This Town tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which exploded from the grass roots of in the late ’70s and early ’80s, uniting black, white and Asian youths.’ 

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Agency Mad Dog Casting, who posted the ad, stipulates young actors with closely cropped hair – a popular look among ska fans of the period – with a flat fee of £10 offered to anyone willing to travel. 

‘Skinheads and people with shaved heads are wanted for an upcoming BBC series, This Town (by the creators of Peaky Blinders),’ it reads. 

‘In and around West Bromwich. Must have good availability from now until the end of February.’ 

Bold look: Knight is arguably responsible for keeping hipster barbers in steady employment thanks to the skin-fade haircut adopted by the cast of his hit BBC show Peaky Blinders

Bold look: Knight is arguably responsible for keeping hipster barbers in steady employment thanks to the skin-fade haircut adopted by the cast of his hit BBC show Peaky Blinders 

Moving on: The writer and producer is currently developing new show This Town, an exploration of the popular ska scene that exploded in Birmingham during the late 1970s and early '80s (pictured: local two-tone band The Specials in 1980)

Moving on: The writer and producer is currently developing new show This Town, an exploration of the popular ska scene that exploded in Birmingham during the late 1970s and early ’80s (pictured: local two-tone band The Specials in 1980)

Speaking in 2022, Knight – who grew up in Walsall, West Midlands – described his forthcoming series as a passion project. 

‘This is a project very close to my heart, he told the BBC. ‘It’s about an era I lived through and know well and it involves characters who I feel I grew up with. 

‘It’s a love letter to Birmingham and Coventry but I hope people from all over the world will relate to it.’ 

Love letter: Speaking in 2022, Knight - who grew up in Walsall, West Midlands - described his forthcoming series as a passion project

Love letter: Speaking in 2022, Knight – who grew up in Walsall, West Midlands – described his forthcoming series as a passion project

The six-part series recently began principal photography in Wolverhampton, where early ’80s replica police vans were seen parked in a city street during what appeared to be a riot scene. 

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Relative unknowns Levi Brown, Jordan Bolger, Ben Rose and Eve Austin have been cast in lead roles, while Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery will also feature.   

Nicholas Pinnock, best known for his role in Marcella and David Dawson of My Policeman have also won roles in the new series. 

An air-date is yet to be confirmed.  

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