By John Glenday, Reporter

March 15, 2022 | 2 min read

Paddy Power has fashioned a new episode of its Jamie Redknapp Investigates mockumentary to understand why Cheltenham racegoers are dressing in the manner of Birmingham gangsters from the turn of the century.

Coinciding with the Cheltenham Festival, the parody investigation is based on an apparent “60% increase in lads dressing as Peaky Blinders” as spectators seek to emulate the BBC’s period crime drama.

Pulling no punches. Redknapp descends on the Kings Head to quiz regulars on their penchant for flat caps, waistcoats and pocket watches, enquiring of one moonlighting printing repairman whether he really does “crack skulls” in his day job.

Public interest in the Tommy Shelby-led gangster family has surged with a return of the series to television screens in recent weeks, sparking an outbreak of ‘Peaky pretenders’ seeking to emulate their small-screen idols.

Redknapp shadows his target when ordering “five whiskys, by order of the Peaky Blinders,” from a non-plussed barmaid while his embarrassed friends keep their distance. Anothe pub-goer is more forthright, enquiring: “What the fuck are you dressed like that for?”

A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “Yes, Tommy Shelby looks pretty cool. But let’s face it, most people are going to look more like the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins at the races than a Peaky Blinder if we attempt to style the flat cap out.

“So if you are thinking of donning your best Shelby-chic for Cheltenham this year, by order of all your mates, please don’t do it.”

Paddy Power are big fans of the mockumentary format, having previously employed it to poke fun at the selective amnesia of England fans.

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