Peaky Blinders viewers left horrified by Brian Gleeson’s ‘diabolical’ attempt at Glaswegian accent

Peaky Blinders returned to TV screens for its fifth season on Sunday night, and viewers were introduced to the notorious Billy Boys.

Fans of the show were not impressed with Brian Gleeson's attempt at a Glaswegian accent (Photo: BBC One)
Fans of the show were not impressed with Brian Gleeson's attempt at a Glaswegian accent (Photo: BBC One)

Fans of the show are used to strong violence in the gang drama, but they weren’t prepared for Peaky Blinders’ attempt at a Glaswegian accent.

Dreadful accent

Cast as the Billy Boys’ leader, Jimmy McCavern, is Irish actor Brian Gleeson.

In 2011, Gleeson received an Irish Film and Television Awards nomination for best supporting role for his appearance in the television show Love/Hate.

He has also starred in the likes of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Logan Lucky (2017) and Assassin's Creed (2016).

Unfortunately for the actor, it seems his previous work experience hadn’t quite prepared him for taking on the notoriously difficult Scottish accent for the hit show.

Could his accent join the ranks of worst Scottish accents to have graced the big screen, like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, Christopher Lambert in Highlander and Jessica Lange in Rob Roy?

Twitter’s reaction

The questionable accent from the Billy Boys’ leader didn’t go down too well with viewers on Twitter.

One person tweeted, “Is this billy boys character Glaswegian? Cause that’s the worst Glaswegian accent I’ve heard #PeakyBlinders”

Another wrote, “Don’t know how much longer I’ll last watching this series with that woeful attempt of the Scottish accent #PeakyBlinders”

One user was so enraged by the dreadful accent that she took to tweeting directly at the official Peaky Blinders Twitter, the BBCOne Twitter and the BBCiPlayer account to vent her frustrations.

She wrote, “Why oh why wasn’t, at least, a Scottish actor, or one who could do a Scottish accent (never mind Glaswegian) employed to play the leader of the Billy Boys?! I’m SO disappointed in an otherwise outstanding cast and production. No disrespect to the actor, but, seriously, why?!”

“The one thing that we can all take away from that Peaky Blinders episode is that Brian Gleeson’s Glaswegian accent is diabolically bad. We can only hope he gets his tongue cut out early doors in the next episode and signs his way through the rest of the f****** series,” another tweeted.