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Sheridan Smith to play Cilla Black in new ITV drama

Sheridan Smith playing the role of Mrs BiggsSheridan Smith is to play singer and TV presenter Cilla Black in a new three-part drama on ITV. She will star as the famous Liverpudlian in the drama, by Jeff Pope, which will “capture the essence of 1960s Liverpool“.

The drama will look at Cilla Black’s friendship with Ringo Starr, which brought her to the attention of The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin.

Sheridan Smith said she was “thrilled” to be playing “a British icon”. One of Sheridan’s previous television roles was as Charmian Biggs in Mrs Biggs in 2012.

Cilla Black had several recording hits between 1961 and 1971. She then went on to become a prominent TV presenter with shows like Blind Date and Surprise, Surprise and, last year, celebrated 50 years in show-business.

Cilla, written by Jeff Pope, who, along with Steve Coogan is Oscar and Bafta nominated for his screenplay for the film Philomena, will follow her journey from a young typist under her real name of Priscilla White, to meeting and befriending Brian Epstein and then recording and launching her career at Abbey Road studios. He on-off relationship with her future husband Bobby Willis will also be explored.

Her life story is fascinating,” said Sheridan. “I’m so excited and can’t wait to start filming.”

Golden Globe nominated Jeff Pope has written it and Paul Whittington, who directed Mrs Biggs, is directing.

Sheridan Smith, who recently starred in the two-part BBC drama The 7.39, said the drama would “hopefully show a younger audience what a star Cilla has always been and for the older generation they can re-live those swinging 60s!” adding “I hope I do her story justice,“.

Filming on the drama is due to start in Liverpool in March.

You can follow Sheridan Smith on Twitter @Sheridansmith1

Sunday 16th February 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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