The creator of BBC2’s hit period gangland crime drama Peaky Blinders says he wants the show to continue until the Second World War and to see the show’s anti-hero Tommy Shelby knighted!

Writer/director Steven Knight revealed his big ambitions for Peaky Blinders to What’s on TV.

“It depends on actors availability, on the broadcaster, everything, but I’d love to see it through to the Second World War, [that’s] my ambition,” he said. “We’d probably have to increase the gaps in between, make it more years in between series – and I want to see Tommy Shelby knighted… Sir Thomas Shelby!”

That will involve quite a trajectory for Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, who is the head of the vicious crime family, the Peaky Blinders, at the heart of the show.

Steven gave clues about the international direction series three was taking Tommy, brother Arthur and the rest of the violent but charismatic gang.

“The world comes to Birmingham rather than Birmingham comes to the world and the family becomes involved in some intrigue involving Russians, because in 1924 there were a lot of exiled Russian aristocrats in Europe and many of them were very bitter and wanted to change things back home. The Shelbys get involved in that whirlwind.”

Steven has introduced a significant new character into the series – Father Hughes (played by Paddy Considine) – and he said: “I think he’s the most evil character who’s ever appeared in Peaky. He’s very bad. And he is Tommy’s… not nemesis… but Tommy’s main opponent in this series. But he’s brilliant, of course, as an actor he’s fantastic.”

As well as Cillian and Paddy, Tom Hardy returns as rival crime lord Alfie Solomons and Harry Potter star Helen McCrory is once again Aunt Polly. Another interesting addition to the six-part series is the late David Bowie.

“It’s not something I can talk about yet,” said Steven. “But you will be hearing music by David Bowie in the series.”

The iconic musician, who passed away in January, was a big Peaky Blinders fan and speculation is rife that he recorded new music for the show. He’s not the only celebrity who enjoyed the series.

“Snoop Dogg is a big fan as well,” revealed Steven. “He would definitely do a cameo if we asked him, but it would be too ridiculous!”

Peaky Blinders series three begins on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday, May 5.

Watch the full interview with Steven Knight, above.