British poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah has died at the age of 65.
His family confirmed the news in a statement saying that he passed in the early hours of Thursday, 7 December.
Zephaniah, who was a writer and dub poet, was a regular cast member of Peaky Blinders and appeared in all six seasons of the BBC crime drama.
He played Jeremiah ‘Jimmy’ Jesus on the show, a street preacher and friend of lead character Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) who fought in World War I alongside him.
Peaky Blinders star and poet Benjamin Zephaniah has died aged 65
Just eight weeks ago, Zephaniah had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
A statement posted to his social media channels reads:
“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 eight 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.”
— Professor Benjamin Zephaniah (@BZephaniah) December 7, 2023
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