Sheridan Smith

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Sheridan Smith
Born (1981-06-25) 25 June 1981 (age 36)
Epworth, Lincolnshire, England
Nationality British
Education South Axholme Community School
Occupation Actress, singer, dancer
Years active 1999–present
Known for The Royle Family (1999–2000)
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps (2001–2009)
Gavin and Stacey (2007–2009)
Benidorm (2008)
Mrs Biggs (2012)
Cilla (2014)
The C Word (2015)
The Moorside (2017)
Awards Full list
Sheridan Smith signature.png
OBE ribbon

Sheridan Smith, OBE (born 25 June 1981)[1] is an English actress, singer and dancer.

Smith came to prominence on television for her roles in comedy shows Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Love Soup, Gavin & Stacey, Grownups and Benidorm. She went on to star in television dramas like Mrs Biggs (for which she won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for playing Ronnie Biggs' wife), The 7.39 and Cilla (in which she played Cilla Black). Her film credits include Tower Block, Quartet, Powder Room and The Harry Hill Movie.

Smith made her West End debut in a National Youth Music Theatre production of Bugsy Malone and has performed in musicals Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors, Funny Girl. She won two Laurence Olivier Awards in consecutive years,[2] for Best Actress in a Musical as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde in 2011 and Best Performance in a Supporting Role as Doris in a revival of the play Flare Path in 2012.[3][4] In 2017, she was nominated for the Best Actress in a Musical award for her work in Funny Girl.

Smith was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to drama.[5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, the daughter of Colin and Marilyn Smith, who performed as a country music duo called the Daltons. She studied dance at the Joyce Mason School of Dancing from an early age.[1] She later attended South Axholme Community School,[8] where she received the highest possible grade in GCSE performing arts.[9]

Though she never trained at a drama school,[10] Smith was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre from 1995–2001, performing a number of lead roles in productions such as Bugsy Malone, Pendragon and Into the Woods.[11] She completed further education at John Leggott College in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.

Her great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Doubleday, was a respected banjo player in Yorkshire and later played as a trio with his daughters.[12]


Film and television[edit]

From 1999 to 2000, Smith played Emma in The Royle Family. She played Janet in the long-running series Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps from 2001 until her departure from the show in 2009. In February 2003, she appeared in "Immediate Care", an episode of The Royal, where she played the part of Francesca Wheeler, a teenage girl who was suffering from leukemia. In 2004, she made a one-episode appearance in Mile High as Suzy, an airport cleaner who was so desperate to become cabin crew, she impersonated a flight attendant. She also featured in The Comic Strip's 2005 episode "Sex Actually" as Angie.

Smith played Cleo Martin in Love Soup (2005) and starred as Michelle, a hypocritical nutritionist, in three series of the sitcom Grownups (2006–2009). She has also appeared on The Lenny Henry Show as M.E. Westmocott, a role spoofing the various medical examiners on CSI. In the 2009 Two Pints of Lager Comic Relief special, which crossed over with Grownups, she played her characters from both series.[13]

Smith has also appeared in a number of other shows including the BBC's Eyes Down, in which she played Sandy, and smaller parts in shows such as The Bill and Fat Friends. She featured as Rudi in the second and third series of the BBC Three sitcom Gavin & Stacey. She guest starred in the Christmas 2008 episode of Lark Rise to Candleford. Since 2009, she has played Joey Ross in special seasonal episodes of Jonathan Creek, namely "The Grinning Man" (2009), "The Judas Tree" (2010), and "The Clue of the Savant's Thumb" (2013). She played Brandy in the third series of Benidorm.

During 2010, Smith acted as a mentor to the contestants of the BBC show Over the Rainbow. Sky Arts' Chekhov Comedy Shorts also featured Smith in 2010 when she starred as Natasha in The Proposal.[14] She appeared in the 2011 film Hysteria, about the invention of the vibrator.[15] For the factual hospital series Bizarre ER, she took over narration duties from Freema Agyeman. She appeared in the 2012 ITV film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel The Scapegoat.[16]

In September 2012 Smith played the title role in Mrs Biggs, a five-part series on ITV. In 2013, she appeared in the Channel 4 series Dates. In January 2014, she starred in the two-part BBC drama The 7.39. In March 2014, she appeared in the ITV crime drama The Widower as the first wife of serial killer Malcolm Webster. Later that year, she featured in the series Who Do You Think You Are? and played Cilla Black in the three-part ITV drama series Cilla.

In 2015 she starred as cancer patient Lisa Lynch in the one-off BBC drama The C Word and as policewoman Jo Gillespie in the three-part ITV drama Black Work, which was nominated for a National Television Award in 2016.

Smith has narrated the reality series Bear Grylls: Mission Survive since 2015. The show was nominated for a National Television Award in 2016 but was cancelled after two series. In February 2017, she starred in The Moorside, a BBC drama based on the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews in 2008.

Upcoming Projects[edit]

In November 2016, Smith began filming for a new feature film The More You Ignore Me based on the novel written by Jo Brand which she will star in as the main character Gina, the release date is yet to be announced. In February 2017, it was announced that Smith would star in the television adaptation of children's bestseller book written by David Walliams Ratburger set to air on Sky One sometime in 2017 as the Evil Step-mum Sheila. Smith will also star in new ITV drama Clean Break, the air date for the series is yet to be announced, Smith will play sassy office cleaner Sam.


Smith's theatre credits include the musical Into the Woods at London's Donmar Warehouse,[17] and Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.[18] She also played Audrey in the stage production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, from November 2006, with the production then transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre in March 2007. Following a successful run the production moved again at the end of June 2007 to the New Ambassadors Theatre, where its played until September 2007. Smith was nominated for the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the show.[19]

Smith appeared as Vanessa in Tinderbox: a Revenge Comedy by Lucy Kirkwood at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush, in April 2008.[20] Smith originated the role of Elle Woods in the musical version of Legally Blonde in its transfer from Broadway to London's West End in December 2009.[21] Ex-Blue boyband member Duncan James played opposite Smith until June 2010, when he was replaced by Richard Fleeshman. Other cast members Smith has performed alongside include Aoife Mulholland as Brooke, Denise Van Outen as Paulette, Peter Davison as Professor Callahan and Alex Gaumond as Emmett Forrest.[22] Her performance was well received, The Daily Telegraph describing her as: "blessed with vitality, warmth, great comic timing and sudden moments of touching vulnerability. She is infinitely more likeable than Reese Witherspoon in the film."[23]

Smith was originally supposed to leave Legally Blonde on 23 October 2010, but she extended her run to 8 January 2011, when Susan McFadden took over the role.[24] For her role in Legally Blonde, Smith won the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[25] She was also nominated for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress and was the winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[26][27]

Between March and June 2011, she appeared in Trevor Nunn's production of Flare Path at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket as Doris, a former barmaid married to a Polish count in the RAF. The production was part of the playwright Terence Rattigan's centenary year celebrations and also starred Sienna Miller and James Purefoy. For this role she won the 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role,[2] the 2011 Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress[4] and the BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.[28]

As well as her role in Legally Blonde, Smith also performed the title role in the workshop productions of a new musical adaptation of Bridget Jones' Diary.[29] On 5 April 2012, it was announced that Smith had decided to pull out of the musical, and would no longer be playing the title role, delaying the production of the show.[30] From September to November 2012, Smith played the title role in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic, winning the 2013 Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Play.[31] Shortly before collecting her award at the ceremony on 17 February 2013, Smith performed the original song "Stagey And Proud", which was written by Chris Passey and Amy Carroll.[32]

From September to November 2013, she starred alongside David Walliams in a West End production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, as part of Michael Grandage's season of plays at the Noël Coward Theatre.

Smith starred in a new London production of the musical Funny Girl. It previewed at the Menier Chocolate Factory from 20 November 2015, opened on 2 December and ran until 6 March 2016.[33][34] The show then transferred to the Savoy Theatre in the West End for a 12-week run, but extended through 8 October 2016.[citation needed] Sheridan Smith states in The Stage[35] that she is married to the job.


Smith played companion Lucie Miller alongside Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor in a radio series of Doctor Who, produced by Big Finish and transmitted on BBC 7 from New Year's Eve 2006; the plays returned in a second series released on CD and scheduled for BBC 7 broadcast. A third series of adventures for Lucie and the Doctor aired in March 2009, as weekly half-hour downloads followed by a Christmas Special. Lucie Miller made her final appearances in the fourth series, ending in 2011. Smith also appeared as Ruby Ruggles in the 2008 radio serial The Way We Live Right Now, and took over the role of Tamsin Trelawny in series 2 of Elephants to Catch Eels on BBC Radio 4.



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Peaches Tracey
2011 Hysteria Molly the Lolly
2011 How to Stop Being a Loser Lisa
2012 Tower Block Becky
2012 Quartet Dr Lucy Cogan
2013 Powder Room Sam
2013 The Harry Hill Movie Michelle
2016 The Huntsman: Winter's War Mrs Bromwyn
2017 The More You Ignore Me Gina


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Wives and Daughters Housemaid Episode No. 1.1
1999 Dark Ages Matilda 5 episodes
1999–2000 The Royle Family Emma Kavanagh 3 episodes
2000 Heartbeat Lyn Episode: "A Shot in the Dark"
2000 Where the Heart Is Vicky Episode: "Modern Love"
2000 Doctors Claire 1 episode
2000 Anchor Me Young Jackie Television film
2001 Holby City Miranda Locke 6 episodes
2001 Always and Everyone Nurse Episode No. 3.12
2001 Hawk Jez Television film
2001–2009 Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Janet Keogh (née Smith) 73 episodes
2002 Fat Friends Sharon Wormersley 2 episodes
2002 Blood Strangers Jas Dyson / Claire Television film
2003 The Royal Francesca Wheeler Episode: "Immediate Care"
2003–2004 Eyes Down Sandy Beech 15 episodes
2004 Mile High Susie Episode No. 2.10
2004 Doctors Jackie Leavis 1 episode
2005 The Bill Janey Giles Episode 315
2005 The Lenny Henry Show Various Characters 8 episodes
2005 The Comic Strip Angie Episode: "Sex Actually"
2005–2008 Love Soup Cleo Martin 15 episodes
2006–2009 Grownups Michelle Booth 22 episodes
2008 Lark Rise to Candleford Cinderella Doe Episode: No. 2.1
2008–2010 Gavin & Stacey Ruth "Rudi" Smith 7 episodes
2009 Benidorm Brandy 4 episodes
2009 The Friday Night Club Miranda Unaired pilot[36]
2009–2013 Jonathan Creek Joey Ross 3 episodes
2010 Chekhov Comedy Shorts Natasha Episode: "The Proposal"
2011 Bizarre ER Narrator
2011 Little Crackers Marilyn Smith Episode: "The Daltons"
2012 Accused Charlotte Episode: "Stephen's Story"
2012 Mrs Biggs Charmian Biggs 5 episodes
2012 Panto! Tamsin Taylor
2012 The Scapegoat Nina Television film
2012 Mr Stink Caroline Crumb Television film
2013 Dates Jenny
2014 The 7.39 Sally Thorn 2 episodes
2014 The Widower Claire Webster Mini-series
2014 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself 1 episode
2014 Cilla Cilla Black Mini-series
2015 Inside No. 9 Christine Anthology series, episode:"The 12 Days of Christine"
2015 The C Word Lisa Lynch Drama
2015 Black Work Jo Gillespie Three-part thriller
2015 Bear Grylls: Mission Survive Narrator First series
2016 Galavant Princess Jubilee Episode: No. 2:5
2016 Walliams and Friend Various Episode: "Sheridan Smith"
2017 The Moorside Julie Bushby BBC drama based on the Kidnapping of Shannon Matthews.
2017 Ratburger Sheila Television film
TBA Clean Break Sam Upcoming ITV drama

Awards and nominations[edit]

BroadwayWorld UK Awards
Year Category Work Result
2011 Best Featured Actress in a Play Flare Path Won
Evening Standard Awards
Year Category Work Result
2010 Best Actress Legally Blonde Nominated
2011 Best Actress Flare Path Won
2016 Best Actress Funny Girl Nominated
Laurence Olivier Awards
Year Category Work Result
2009 Best Actress in a Musical Little Shop of Horrors Nominated
2011 Best Actress in a Musical Legally Blonde Won
2012 Best Performance in a Supporting Role Flare Path Won
2017 Best Actress in a Musical Funny Girl Nominated Audience Awards
Year Category Work Result
2011 Best Actress in a Musical Legally Blonde Won
2013 Best Actress in a Play Hedda Gabler Won
2017 Best Actress in a Musical Funny Girl Nominated
AACTA Awards
Year Category Work Result
2014 Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama Mrs Biggs Nominated
Year Category Work Result
2013 Best Actress Mrs Biggs Won
2015 Best Actress[37] Cilla Nominated
2016 Best Actress The C Word Nominated
Emmy Awards
Year Category Work Result
2013 International Emmy Award for Best Actress Mrs Biggs Nominated
2015 International Emmy Award for Best Actress Cilla Nominated
National Television Awards
Year Category Work Result
2013 Outstanding Drama Performance (Female) Mrs Biggs Nominated
2015 Best Drama Performance Cilla Won
2016 Best Drama Performance Black Work Nominated
2016 Best Challenge Show Bear Grylls: Mission Survive Nominated
Royal Television Society Awards
Year Category Work Result
2013 Best Actress Mrs Biggs Nominated
2015 Best Actress Cilla Nominated
TV Choice Award
Year Category Work Result
2013 Best Actress Mrs Biggs Nominated
2015 Best Actress Cilla Won
Women in Film & Television Awards
Year Category Work Result
2013 Best Performance Mrs Biggs Won


  1. ^ a b Jeffries, Stuart (19 March 2013). "From slappers to Hedda Gabler: the irresistible rise of Sheridan Smith". The Guardian. London. 
  2. ^ a b Matilda the Musical wins seven gongs at the 2012 Olivier Awards – News. The Stage.[dead link]
  3. ^ Oliver Awards Best Actress in a Musical, The Society of London Theatre, archived from the original on 10 February 2011, retrieved 2011-03-14 
  4. ^ a b "Frankenstein stars win Evening Standard Theatre Awards". BBC News. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  5. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N15. 
  6. ^ "NY Honours for poppy duo, Joan Collins, and John Hurt". BBC News. 31 December 2014. 
  7. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List
  8. ^ Star Pupils Revealed at Scunthorpe Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2016
  9. ^ "My best teacher – Sheridan Smith". 
  10. ^ Anna Pukas. "The many faces of Sheridan Smith: From amateur actress to one of this generation's finest". 
  11. ^ Emine Saner. "Sheridan Smith struggles with mounting acclaim over Cilla portrayal". the Guardian. 
  12. ^ "Sheridan Smith – Who Do You Think You Are – Musical talent through the generations...". 3 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "When Janet Met Michelle". BBC. Retrieved 2010-04-03. 
  14. ^ "'Chek' out Isle actress Sheridan Smith's latest TV Proposal". This is Scunthorpe. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  15. ^ "Sheridan Smith to film three-and-a-half-minute-long orgasm scene". Mirror Newspaper. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  16. ^ Guest, Alex (7 November 2011). "Matthew Rhys to star in ITV1 film of du Maurier's The Scapegoat". TV Pixie. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  17. ^ Wolf, Matt (27 March 2008). "Q&A: Sheridan Smith". Archived from the original on 1 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  18. ^ "The British Theatre Guide: News for 7th May 2006". British Theatre Guide. 5 July 2008. Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  19. ^ Wolf, Matt (7 February 2008). "Hairspray, Parade Lead Olivier Noms; War Horse Rides High Among Plays". Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  20. ^ "The What's On / Productions: Tinderbox". Bush Theatre Website. Retrieved 2008-04-06. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Sheridan Smith Nabs Legally Blonde's Elle???". 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Duncan James Gets Legal with Sheridan Smith???". 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. 
  23. ^ Davies, Serena (19 January 2010). "Sheridan Smith: a West End star is born – Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  24. ^ Sheridan Smith Extends in West End Legally Blonde to Jan '11, 26 August 2010
  25. ^ Full List: 2011 Award Winners, 20 February 2011
  26. ^ Shortlist Announced for 2010 London Evening Standard Theatre Awards Playbill
  27. ^ Legally Blonde, Into the Woods, Clybourne Park, After the Dance Among Olivier Award Winners in London Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Playbill.(13 March 2011).
  28. ^ 2011 BWW UK Award Winners Announced! ROCK OF AGES, GHOST, WIZARD and PHANTOM All Win!. (5 December 2011).
  29. ^ Eden, Richard (10 July 2011). "Author Helen Fielding hails the musical new Bridget Jones, Sheridan Smith". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  30. ^ Bridget Jones musical plunged into confusion as Sheridan Smith pulls out of show. Daily Mail.(6 April 2012).
  31. ^ Sam Marlowe (2013-09-12). "Sheridan Smith is a wild Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream". Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  32. ^ Feast Creative. "Analysis: Sweeney, JCS & Bodyguard triumph at 2013 Awards". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-16. 
  33. ^ Gans, Andrew and Shenton, Mark. "Watch London's Funny Girl, Sheridan Smith, Sing! (Video)" Playbill, August 2015
  34. ^ Mitford, Oliver. "Funny Girl is headed for the West End!" London Box Office, 29 October 2015
  35. ^ Shenton, Mark (16 January 2016). "Sheridan Smith Married to the Job". The Stage. 
  36. ^ "The Friday Night Club – Pilot", British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  37. ^ Alex Ritman (8 April 2015). "BAFTA TV Awards: Benedict Cumberbatch Gets Third Nomination for 'Sherlock'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

External links[edit]