'Peaky Blinders' Actor Reportedly Died After Being Sent Home From the Hospital

Toby Kirkup, an actor who appeared in Peaky Blinders, reportedly died alone after he was sent home from the hospital in August 2020, a British court heard earlier this week. Kirkup, 48, went to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on Aug. 29 after complaining about chest pains. He was diagnosed with gastritis, then sent home the same day. The actor, who also appeared in the long-running U.K. soap opera Emmerdale, told doctors he felt chest pains and tingling in his arms.

When Kirkup returned to his home in Linthwaite, his condition only worsened, the inquest at Bradford Coroner's Court heard, reports the Daily Mail. The post-mortem found that he started vomiting and had a heart attack. The coroner determined that Kirkup died of natural causes. The actor also struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, Coroner's Officer Catherine Toner said during the hearing. Assistant coroner Katy Dickinson adjourned the hearing until Sept. 30, reports Yorkshire Live. The inquest was called after his family raised concerns about his treatment.

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The doctors at the hospital diagnosed Kirkup with gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is often caused by the same bacterium that causes ulcers. "Regular use of certain pain relievers and drinking too much alcohol also can contribute to gastritis," the Mayo Clinic notes. "Gastritis may occur suddenly (acute gastritis), or appear slowly over time (chronic gastritis). In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. For most people, however, gastritis isn't serious and improves quickly with treatment."

Kirkup graduated from the University of Huddersfield and worked several jobs in the movie and television industry in the U.K. and Europe. He played a police sergeant in an episode of Peaky Blinders and appeared in Emmerdale. He also acted on stage in Shakespearean productions. Aside from acting, he worked as a writer and stagehand. After his death, Kirkup's family described him as "always pleasant, polite and friendly" and "always lovely to speak to." His brother, Dominic, runs a hotel in Torquay. He did not comment at the inquest.


Peaky Blinders aired on BBC Two and BBC One in the U.K. and is available to stream on Netflix in the U.S. The Steven Knight-created series focuses on the Shelby crime family, beginning after World War I and continuing through the Great Depression. The show's upcoming sixth season will be its last. In 2018, Peaky Blinders won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series, beating out The Crown.