Sheridan Smith: 'I didn’t really care' Cleaning Up star speaks of 'giving up'

Sheridan Smith, 37, admitted she used alcohol as “self-medication” following her loss and wasn’t thinking about her career. When asked if she still drinks in a candid chat with The Times, she replied: “I do drink, yes. I drank a lot around the time I was losing my dad, way more than I should have been. It was self-medication and I was taking anxiety tablets, so I was just all over the place really.

“Now I don’t feel like I need to drink all the time, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t drink.”

Sheridan’s dad became ill while she starred in West End musical Funny Girl, prompting her to cancel some performances.

When asked if she feared getting a bad reputation, she added to the publication: “To be honest, I’d kind of given up.

“I didn’t really care because all I cared about was my dad. It put everything in perspective.

“I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to give it all up’ and I covered myself in tattoos, like an idiot.”

Before her dad’s death, he got to watch Sheridan star as Fanny Brice in the production.

But, she said the show left a surprising effect on her dad.

Reflecting on the night, she told The Guardian: “He came to opening night.

“And in the second half Fanny has this big breakdown.

“The last 10 minutes are just me sobbing. He was sat so close to the front, and my dad – I’d never seen him cry – he couldn’t stop.

“He told me afterwards: ‘I love you, Shezzy. But I can never watch that show again.’ That was just before he got his cancer diagnosis.”

Tonight, Sheridan stars as Sam, a cleaner who struggles with an addiction to online gambling in new drama Cleaning Up.

Reflecting on her character, Sheridan told the Sunday Post: “What I love about Sam is she’s working class and maybe not educated like a lot of people are, but she’s still savvy and smart.

“She’s a chameleon who can fit into any world. A smart cookie.

“She’s not educated like all these bankers playing the stock market. But she can fit into that world if she wants to.”

Cleaning Up begins on ITV tonight at 9pm.