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08th Dec 2023

Cillian Murphy pays tribute to ‘generational’ Benjamin Zephaniah

Charlie Herbert

Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Zephaniah in Peaky Blinders

‘A proud Brummie and a Peaky Blinder’

Cillian Murphy has paid tribute to poet, writer and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah.

On Thursday, Zephaniah’s family announced the sad news that her had passed away in the early hours of the morning at the age of 65.

In a post on social media, his family revealed he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago.

The statement read: “It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our beloved husband, son and brother in the early hours of this morning the 7th December 2023.

“Benjamin was diagnosed with a brain tumour 8 weeks ago. Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed.

“We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news. Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world so much.

“Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.

“Thank you for the love you have shown Professor Benjamin Zephaniah.”

A much-loved poet, Zephaniah also had a regular role in Peaky Blinders as Jeremiah Jesus.

The series’ lead star, Cillian Murphy, has since paid tribute to his co-star, labelling him a “generational” talent and “proud Brummie.”

He told Deadline: “Benjamin was a truly gifted and beautiful human being – a generational poet, writer, musician and activist.

“A proud Brummie and a Peaky Blinder. I’m so saddened by this news. RIP.”

His words were echoed in a statement on the official Instagram page of Peaky Blinders, which said: “We are so shocked and devastated at the news of the death of our friend Benjamin Zephaniah.

“He was much a much-loved, instrumental and influential part of the Peaky Blinders family from the very start, as well to the creative community at large.”

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