Peaky Blinders season 5: Who plays Jimmy McCavern? Who is Brian Gleeson?

Peaky Blinders season five recently wrapped up on the BBC and now the latest season is available to stream and download on Netflix outside of the UK. As Peaky fans across the globe catch up on the new season, people are wondering who is playing violent Scotsman Jimmy McCavern.

Who plays Jimmy McCavern? Who is Brian Gleeson?

Brain Gleeson takes on the role of Billy Boys leader, Jimmy McCavern in Peaky Blinders.

Gleeson is an Irish actor from Dublin, Ireland but puts on a thick East Glasgow accent in the show.

He is best known for playing Hughie in Love/Hate, which earned him a nomination for an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Gleeson is best known internationally for starring in the Hollywood film The Eagle alongside Channing Tatum.


He also appeared in the 2012 Academy Award-nominated film Snow White and the Huntsmen.

His other film credits include Hellboy, Phantom Thread, Assassin’s Creed and Tiger Raid.

Gleeson has also appeared in Resistance as Jimmy Mahon and The Bisexual as Gabe.

Gleeson is the son of Harry Potter’s Brendon Gleeson and the brother of Star Wars actor, Domhnall Gleeson.


Is Jimmy McCavern a real person?

Jimmy McGavern is not a real person but the character is loosely based on the real leader of The Glasgow Billy Boys.

In the 1920s and early 1930s, Billy Fullerton was the leader of the Billy Boys, a Protestant street gang from the Bridgeton area of Glasgow.

Their name derives from William of Orange (King Billy) whose victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 secured Protestant rule in England, Scotland and Ireland.

According to the BBC, at least 800 men were expected to be involved in the Billy Boys, outnumbering and intimidating police officers.

The Billy Boys kept mainly to Glasgow, clashing with the Catholic gang Norman Conks.

However, they did march in Belfast in the 1930s as part of The Twelfth celebration.


In Peaky Blinders, McCavern and his gang arrive in Birmingham to take out the Peaky Blinders.

However, McCavern ends up working with Tommy Shelby (played by Cillian Murphy) to transport opium from London and export overseas.

As demonstrated between Sir Oswald Mosley (Sam Claflin) and Jimmy McCavern in Peaky Blinders season five, Mosley and Fullerton did have a friendship in real life.

Fullerton was a member of the British fascists and formed the Glasgow branch of the British Union of Fascists at the outbreak of World War Two.

The Billy Boys provided security for Mosley’s political meetings and fascist rallies. They also broke up communist party meetings and strikes.

The Billy Boys had their own song to the tune of an American Civil War song titled Marching Through Georgia, as seen in the TV series.

The song was previously sung by fans of Rangers football club, though singing it in grounds was banned in 2011 by the Scottish government.

Peaky Blinders is streaming on the BBC iPlayer and Netflix now.

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