The Digbeth Kid comes home!

When: Thursday 23 October, 21:00 onwards
Where: The Spotted Dog, 104 Warwick Street, Digbeth, B12 0NH

By now, I’m sure all our readers are fully aware of our community screenings of Peaky Blinders at the Spotted Dog in Digbeth. Tomorrow’s screening, however, will be a bit special… Read on to learn more!

Last week saw the introduction, and (*spoiler alert*) demise of The Digbeth Kid. We exclusively uncovered the appearance of the character way back in April from Steven Knight, so after six months of waiting we were slightly disappointed his outing was so brief.

Needless to say, the character was well received, spawning his own spoof Twitter account (@DigbethKid) within minutes of the airing of the show, and adoration from none other than Annabelle Wallis, who played Tommy’s love interest Grace:

Our sister site Digbeth is Good spoke to James Eeles, who played The Digbeth Kid, and asked him a few questions about his turn in Peaky Blinders:

Digbeth is Good: Hi James, thanks for talking to Digbeth is Good! Let’s start at the very beginning: what was your audition experience like?
James Eeles: The audition process was surprisingly simple, in the fact I only did one! I auditioned for the part at the very start of the year, and with it being one of my first professional auditions, I was pretty nervous. I was called into a small room, I met the casting director and the director (Colm McCarthy). I did my audition piece, which was the snug scene from the episode, I was asked a couple of questions about where I was from originally, and then I was on my way. I didn’t hear anything for a good month or so, and thought “well that was a cool experience, maybe I’ll get the next part”. Then bam – I got a call from my agent telling me I’d got the part! Next thing I was off to Manchester to film.

DiG: There has been talk about the sometimes ‘questionable’ Brummie accents on the show. Did you struggle with it, or did you end up helping the other actors?!
JE: As I’m from Kidderminster, just ‘down the road’, and since my mum is a Brummie, I didn’t struggle with the accent at all. There was no problem with anyone else’s accents – if there had been, being the new boy I’d have probably kept my mouth shut!

James with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders

DiG: Did you feel like the new boy on set?
JE: It was a bit surreal and also quite daunting! Things like seeing inside of the new Garrison, and the new look Shelby betting rooms. I’m used to acting in a theatre with an audience watching – not having a director, crew and a camera right in your face. At one point I was standing with Paul Anderson (Arthur) and Cillian Murphy (Tommy) cracking jokes about my wooden gun and quoting lines from The Other Guys. You may be interested to know that my death scene took only one take!

DiG: You mention Paul and Cillian – did you get any tips from your co-stars?
JE: I didn’t get any tips, but I was made to feel right at home. Being shown around the set and getting compliments on my acting from the stars of a critically acclaimed TV series is something you can’t complain about!

DiG: Did you know much about Digbeth before the show? Did you do any research on the area after getting the role?
JE: I’ve been to Digbeth a number of times for gigs, and I’ve also been to the Spotted Dog before.

DiG: Finally, do you have any gossip you can share with us?!
JE: Unfortunately no spoilers to tell – I’m now just as clueless as you! But can I say that the response to the character has been brilliant; it’s been so nice reading all the RIP tweets and seeing mentions of the Digbeth Kid in reviews!

Huge thanks to James for talking to us – he may have shouted “I’m not real!” in the show, but he’s certainly the real deal to us! But that’s not all folks: if you want to meet a real life Peaky Blinder, you better get down to the Spotted Dog tomorrow. That’s right, James will be there to watch the next instalment of the show with us in the cosy atmosphere of a Digbeth local!

Who said we never do anything for our members? This is your opportunity to rub shoulders with a star from not only Digbeth, but Birmingham’s favourite series. See you there!

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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