Peaky Blinders actor Paul Anderson has been fined for possession of drugs after being found with crack cocaine on Boxing Day.

The TV and film star was found with cocaine and other illegal substances last month, throwing the future of the hit BBC show into question.

Anderson, who was lined up to return as Arthur Shelby for the forthcoming feature-length film adaptation of the BBC gangster series, has been fined for possession of drugs after police found him with the substances in a Hampstead pub on Tuesday 26 December 2023.

The 48-year-old appeared in court on Thursday (25 January), where he pleaded guilty to possessing class A crack cocaine, class B amphetamines and two class C prescription substances. Anderson was fined a total of £1,345.

Paul Anderson was fined a total of £1,345 for possession of Class A drugs BBC
Paul Anderson was fined a total of £1,345 for possession of Class A drugs

According to news reports, police were called after a pub manager discovered what he believed were crack cocaine fumes emanating from the disabled toilet after Anderson had been inside it.

Mail Online reported that police had discovered Anderson with a young man and a 17-month-old baby. They then escorted him to a police station, where crack cocaine and a wrap of brown powder found to be amphetamines, plus diazepam and pregabalin were all found in his possession.

The Met said: “Police were called at about 18:30hrs on 26 December 2023 to West End Lane in Camden. Officers attended and arrested a man.

“Paul Anderson, 48, of West Hampstead, was later charged with two counts of possession of Class A drugs and two counts of possession of Class C drugs. He appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 25 January.”

Paul Anderson plays character Arthur Shelby on Peaky Blinders, seen here (left) with his co-stars Cillian Murphy and Joe Cole BBC
Paul Anderson plays character Arthur Shelby on Peaky Blinders, seen here (left) with his co-stars Cillian Murphy and Joe Cole

A lawyer for Anderson said the British actor – who has appeared in Netflix film Lift and multi award-winning The Revenant – had not been smoking the crack cocaine, but “ found himself in an unfortunate position and should have had the strength to say no”.

In mitigation, Anderson’s lawyer Moira MacFarlane reportedly told the court: “You will recognise the defendant from a very intense part that he has played in a recent television programme. He is often recognised and does his best to please fans of the show by slipping into character.

“He was recognised that Boxing Day and tried to play up for these people. And because of the lifestyle he leads people often give him inducements.”

Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby (left) with Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby (right). The future of the upcoming Peaky Blinders film is said to be in jeapardyRobert Viglasky / BBC
Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby (left) with Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby (right) – The future of the upcoming Peaky Blinders film is said to be in jeopardy

Peaky Blinders concluded in April 2022 with its final series, but the show was set to return to the big screen in a special feature-length film written by Brummie creator Steven Knight. The period crime drama is centred on a family of mixed Irish Traveller and Romani origins based in Birmingham, set in the early 20th century between the first and second World Wars.

Anderson’s role as Arthur Shelby, the older brother of Cillian Murphy’s Thomas Shelby, has been a “pivotal character” to the plot since the first episode of the drama was aired in September 2013.

A source speculated to Mail Online that Anderson’s brush with the law may have jeopardised his return to the show, which could potentially cause the entire film to be scrapped.


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