February 26th 2022
Peaky Blinders fans were devastated by the loss of actress Helen McCrory, but it’s been revealed an extra special touch that has been made in the series her character Aunt Polly will be kept alive by Ada Shelby star Sophie Rundle.
The sixth and final season of the hit BBC series finally comes back to the small screen tonight, more than two years after that epic cliffhanger aired.
However, one person whose absence will be truly felt this time around is Aunt Polly, who ruled the roost of the Shelby family in the previous five seasons.
Actress Helen McCrory, who played the formidable matriarch in the series, died last year aged 52 after a private illness with cancer.
Costume designer Alison McCosh sat down with Metro.co.uk prior to the series and
Aunt Polly was known for her incredible style, with the clothes and accessories she wore an integral part of her character.
Reflecting on the her X looks from last season, Alison explained to us: ‘In season five, we really wanted to make our mark with Polly. We really felt that the script really led to that and we discussed at the start, that we could push her even further.’
Costumes for Aunt Polly season six had already been started on prior to the pandemic – but production was later shut down.
Alison told us: ’It was really difficult because [Helen] was one that I had started on very early on. Helen loved her costume fittings, I loved the fittings with her. They were exciting and engaging.
‘It was hard because I didn’t want to let her go. I didn’t want to like Polly go.’
She decided to speak to Sophie, where she pitched the idea of Ada stepping into Polly’s shoes through her clothes as well as her mentality.
‘I said I think it would be really interesting you know that Ada would want to step in and step off into polly’s shoes, use some of these pieces that I’ve created and designed for Polly’s that if we can have Ada wear them, I think it would be really interesting visually to show that, trying to step into Polly’s shoes. So we did that, Sophie loved that idea. And we did that and that was a way for me to have Polly move on through Ada.
It was really emotional for Soph and. Sophie had just had the baby and I had gone to the Sophie at her home and we discussed it over the phone. And as I chose the pieces to bring to her. It was quite emotional that we were also quite it felt right. And so we decided to do that. And Sophie loved it. And she felt that she said to me she had really helped her portray that part of her as she moves forward with Ada.
Chatting to Metro.co.uk separately, Sophie had previously explained she hoped Helen would be ‘proud’ of the finale.
She said of Helen’s death: ‘It was horrible and we were all devastated. I think that everybody felt that, whether you’d ever met her or not whether you’d work with her or not, I think the whole nation felt that it was devastating. It was too soon.
‘She was such an intrinsic part of the show, as Helen and Aunt Pol everything felt very off kilter not having her there, so you can imagine it was just horrible.
Sophie shared how her absence really cemented the fact ‘Helen made Peaky what it is, adding: ‘Aunt pol was just the heart of it – she’s certainly not forgotten and she certainly remains the sort of beating heart of that show, I think.’
‘I don’t know how you could ever pay tribute to someone as amazing as her but I hope we’ve done so enough, you know, while keeping the story going, and I hope it’s enough. It’s a really tricky thing.
I can’t overstate enough how much a part of the show she was how I really think Helen elevated it into what it became. I think without her it wouldn’t have been the same. So I hope we I hope we’ve done I hope we’ve done her proud.’
Alison later addressed some of the other costume changes we might see, as the roles and responsibilities in the Shelby family are given a big shake-up.
it’s minimal with him. It is very, it’s very subtle, very, very subtle. And I think you can see that it’s very, very subtle, but you can see it, not massive changes, for example, season six, Tom’s coat. If you look at the lining, it’s a paisely and a deeper red this season.A different shade than it was before. But again, it’s marginal and subtle.