ONE of River City's most controversial characters has landed a top role in the new series of hit gangster period drama Peaky Blinders.

Douglas Rankine, who plays cop Joe Dunn in the hit BBC soap, will play a key role in season five of the show which airs on August 25. 

The 44-year-old's character recently groomed 15-year-old Ruby McLean during the soap's controversial storyline.

Now he is expected to take up a role in the new series of Birmingham set series Peaky Blinders as a feared member of the 1930s Billy Boys mob.

The Glasgow razor gang was led by Billy Fullerton and hailed from the Bridgeton area of the city. 

Fullerton later teamed up with fascist leader Oswald Mosely in real life. In the show, Mosely takes on Cillian Murphy's character Tommy Shelby, which will see The Billy Boys make an appearance.  

READ MORE: Peaky Blinders star hails Celtic's Kiernan Tierney

Glasgow Times:

Joe Dunn is pictured with character Ruby McLean played by Zindzi Hudson.

A source told The Scottish Sun said: “This is a big break for Douglas and one which could really propel his career.

“Most people in Scotland will know him as the dodgy cop from River City.

“But Peaky Blinders is on another level. You’re looking at around 10 million viewers UK-wide tuning in for the first episode.

“Then, of course, the show is also global now with it being on Netflix.”

Rankine, from Blantyre, appears in the first episode along with other gang members.