Peaky Blinder Joe Cole in “Turning Point” as he takes on the role of the legendary Michael Caine


After finding fame as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders, Joe Cole adopts another iconic look when he stars in a remake of the spy classic The Ipcress File

Joe Cole as Harry Palmer in the remake
Joe Cole as Harry Palmer in the remake

The specs look familiar – but then the up-and-coming Joe Cole recreates a spy role made famous by Sir Michael Caine.

The Peaky Blinders star plays working-class secret agent Harry Palmer in ITV’s miniseries adaptation of Cold War thriller The Ipcress File.

The 1965 film of the same name propelled Caine to stardom — and 33-year-old Cole’s mentors think it could take him to the next level, too.

Paul Roseby, CEO and Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre, said: “I think Joe is as versatile as Sir Michael Caine, but he has a very different energy. There’s an inner naughtiness and spark about him, and as soon as he walks through the door you notice him. It’s been a real buzz around Joe since he first auditioned.

“He had this incredible ability to be raw, to be on the edge – you could sense a quiet danger emanating from him.”

Michael Caine in the original


Alamy Stock Photo)

The road to stardom has been a rocky one for Joe, who grew up in Kingston, south-west London with four brothers. He bombed his high school diploma and went off the rails.

Joe revealed: “I never thought I would be an actor. I had a pretty bad breakup, I didn’t get to university, I felt very sorry.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have done it, but I did it. I got arrested. I just messed around, really.”

Joe as John Shelby


BBC/Mandabach/Tiger Aspect/Robert Viglasky)

Lucy Boynton as Jean while following a potential threat

Joe was a rug salesman before pursuing his acting dream and landing a spot at the NYT. He had roles on The Bill and Holby City before committing to play gangster John Shelby on four series of Peaky Blinders. Leading roles in Gangs of London and Black Mirror followed, for which he received a BAFTA nomination.

But “The Ipcress Files,” starring Lucy Boynton, 28, could be a game changer.

Another teacher, Rikki Beadle-Blair, said: “Joe had it from day one. That stillness, that winding dynamic, that focus. Joe is a thrill in human form.” Peaky Blinder Joe Cole in "Turning Point" as he takes on the role of the legendary Michael Caine

Fry Electronics Team

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