Move over Bradley Walsh! Now it’s Sheridan Smith who’s never off our TV screens as her third prime-time drama of the year kicks off
Bradley Walsh may have been the undisputed king of television schedules over Christmas, but Sheridan Smith has now taken his crown.
The award-winning actress will tomorrow star in ITV’s No Return, her third prime-time drama so far this year, following lead roles in BBC1’s Four Lives and Channel 5’s The Teacher.
And next weekend she will take her place on the judging panel for ITV’s new Saturday night show Starstruck – a remake of the 1990s favourite Stars In Their Eyes.
As if that wasn’t enough, the 40-year-old will also appear in the long-awaited sequel to the classic film The Railway Children later this year.
Bradley Walsh may have been the undisputed king of television schedules over Christmas, but Sheridan Smith has now taken his crown
Her domination of the schedules equals that of Walsh, who hosted The Chase and Blankety Blank and starred in The Larkins and travel show Breaking Dad over Christmas.
In her latest role in No Return, Smith plays Kathy Powell, a woman whose teenage son is accused of sexually assaulting a boy during a holiday in Turkey.
The four-part series, which starts at 9pm tomorrow, depicts the family’s turmoil after the arrest of Noah, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
It follows her acclaimed role in Four Lives, which told the true story of serial rapist and killer Stephen Port. In it, Ms Smith played Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate, the first of Port’s four known victims. The Daily Mail praised her ‘shattering portrayal of pain and rage’.
She also won acclaim for her ‘flair and vulnerability’ in The Teacher, playing Jenna Garvey, an emotionally troubled teacher accused of having sex with one of her pupils. Ms Smith said she took the role after being impressed with the script, which she was sent during lockdown.
‘I was gripped,’ she told the Radio Times. ‘Jenna is such a complex character, there are so many layers to her. I love the fact you don’t know if she’s telling the truth or not. All these twists and turns came along in the story that I did not expect.’
Ms Smith will get some reprieve from the intensity of her acting roles in Starstruck, in which she will judge pop fans who transform into their idols.
She joins singer Beverley Knight, comedian Jason Manford and American star Adam Lambert, who fronts Queen on tour, on the panel.
Despite her professional success, Ms Smith, who first came to fame in BBC comedies The Royle Family and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, has had a more turbulent personal life recently. Pictured: Smith in Four Lives
Ms Smith first came to fame in BBC comedies The Royle Family and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Pictured: Smith as Kathy in No Return
And as an accomplished West End star herself, Ms Smith is tipped to perform in the first episode on Saturday.
She will also be seen on the big screen in The Railway Children Return this summer. In the sequel, she plays Annie, the daughter of Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Waterbury, the character Jenny Agutter is returning to, 52 years after the original.
Despite her professional success, Ms Smith, who first came to fame in BBC comedies The Royle Family and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, has had a more turbulent personal life recently.
It was revealed last month that she had split from her boyfriend Alex Lawler, just six months after her engagement to Jamie Horn ended after three years together. They have a 20-month-old son, Billy.
And in December she was described as being ‘lucky to be alive’ after being involved in a car crash near her Essex home.
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