Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Sheridan Smith sheds chav image

Sheridan Smith plays Charmian Brent, the ex-wife of notorious criminal Ronnie Biggs in Mrs Biggs

Sheridan Smith has confessed how grown up she felt to be cast in new TV drama Mrs Biggs.

The 31-year-old actress, is leaving behind the tracksuits and peroxide of her roles in Benidorm and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps to play Charmian Biggs, wife of train robber Ronnie, in the first drama series to focus on her side of the story.

Sheridan said: "It's really grown up for me. I don't usually get to play sophisticated women, I usually play the scruffs, the chavs and the slappers.

"Although I've loved the roles I've played, it's been so nice they've given me this opportunity, and it's scary, you feel a bit out your comfort zone, but I'm loving every minute."

Charmian urged Ronnie to turn his back on a life of petty crime but, just as they were trying to stump up enough money to buy a house, he was offered a role in one of the most famous British crimes of all time - the Great Train Robbery of August 1963. Biggs and the rest of the gang stole £2.6 million from a mail train travelling from Glasgow to London, and the train's driver, who was beaten during the robbery, never fully recovered from his injuries.

Sheridan said of Charmian: "She's an incredible woman. She remembers so much, even down to what she was wearing when certain things happened. She'll say, 'I didn't have flats then, I had heels', for example."

Though Sheridan describes Ronnie, who is now 83 and suffering from ill health, as a "loveable rogue", she's also quick to point out that the drama doesn't glamorise his crimes either.

She said: "It just tells the female side of the story, and I think it is so important to know what she went through."

:: Mrs Biggs continues on ITV1 on Wednesdays.

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Virgo:

Read the fine print on a contract. If you're not happy with the proposed terms of a deal, renegotiate. Don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain. You may not realise it, but you have a great deal of power. People are willing to pay good money for someone with your intelligence and experience. If you undersell yourself, you will set a dangerous precedent. Someone will ask you to do something that goes against your conscience. Obey your principles, even if it means making an enemy.More