Sheridan Smith to star as cleaner caught up in insider trading
Sheridan Smith is returning to the small screen with a new stock market drama set in the world of insider trading.
The Bafta-winning actress, 35, has signed up to star as a cleaner with an addictive personality in ITV series Clean Break.
The casting comes after a difficult year for the actress, who cancelled last month's Royal Variety Performance appearance following the death of her father.
She also had to take time off from her leading role in West End show Funny Girl for stress and exhaustion.
Now Smith has been cast as "sassy" office cleaner Sam, a "woman who is caught between two worlds - the everyday life of a devoted and loving mum and the darker, dangerous world of insider trading".
Struggling with an online gambling addiction while mopping and sweeping in Canary Wharf in the early hours, "Sam realises she has access to lucrative stock market information which if used correctly could be the answer to all her prayers".
Smith's acclaimed TV performances have included blogger Lisa Lynch in the BBC1 drama The C-Word in 2015, her role as Cilla Black in the 2014 biopic Cilla, and as the woman who married Ronnie Biggs in Mrs Biggs, both for ITV.
The Gavin And Stacey star appears in David Walliams' new sketch show Walliams And Friend.
ITV head of drama Polly Hill said of the new, six-part series: "It's such a wonderful script that finds real humour and joy in the human struggle to survive. Sheridan is perfect for the role of Sam and I'm thrilled she's returning to ITV to play her...
"It's a fantastic team and promises to be a real treat for our audience."
Executive producer Jane Featherstone said the drama had a "strong and complicated female lead character", adding: "Expect it to be moving, funny and surprising."
Clean Break will be filmed in and around London in the autumn.
The announcement came as the producers of Funny Girl announced casting for the touring production of the musical.
Smith will perform in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Bradford, Southend, Cardiff and Dublin.