Peaky Blinders star Paul Anderson addresses health concern after dishevelled appearance

Paul Anderson has addressed concerns over his appearance after a photo left manyPeaky Blinders fans concerned for his health.

The image, which showed the British star with a somewhat changed appearance, was shared online weeks after his future in the BBC show’s spin-off film was thrown into question when he pleaded guilty to crack cocaine possession.

However, Anderson, 48, is reassuring his fans that he is OK, and shared a new photo of himself on the set of forthcoming series The Gray House in London’s Soho on Tuesday (27 February). He also took time to thank his social media followers for their concern, explaining that he was merely sick with the flu.

“Back to business and back on set today,” he wrote on Instagram Stories, adding: “Thank you for all your love and concern to everyone. I was and have been absolutely flattened by the flu. #nofilter.”

Anderson added in a separate post: “I also want to take time to thank each and every one of you all over the world for all the messages of love and support, I see you and appreciate it humbly and sincerely.

“Always remember nobody cares about the truth when the lie is way more entertaining than the truth. I am back don’t you worry about that.”

In January 2024, Anderson was fined £1,345 for possession of drugs after being found with a selection of substances in a Hampstead pub on Boxing Day 2023.

According to Mail Online, police were called after a pub manager discovered what he believed were crack cocaine fumes coming from the disabled toilet after Anderson had been in there.

The British actor, whose other credits include The Revenant and the recent Kevin Hart film Lift, was reportedly taken to a police station where crack cocaine, amphetamines, diazepam and pregabalin were found.

Anderson pleaded guilty to possessing class A crack cocaine, class B amphetamines and two class C prescription substances.

Paul Anderson thanks his fans following concerns over his health (Instagram)
Paul Anderson thanks his fans following concerns over his health (Instagram)

But the actor’s lawyer is believed to have told the court that Anderson had not been smoking crack cocaine, and reportedly said: “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.”

Anderson starred in Peaky Blinders as Arthur Shelby, the older brother of Cillian Murphy’s Thomas Shelby, from the very first episode, which was broadcast in 2013.

The drama, created by Steven Knight, concluded in April 2022, with the show set to return to the big screen with a forthcoming film.

Oppenheimer star Murphy is the current favourite to take home the Oscar for Best Actor at this year’s ceremony on 10 March.

Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson in ‘Peaky Blinders’ (BBC)
Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson in ‘Peaky Blinders’ (BBC)

Anderson’s other credits include The Revenant and the recent Netflix film Lift, starring Kevin Hart.