Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 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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Leo:

Gaining admission to a society or club may not be possible. Try to stay philosophical. You'll receive a great deal of emotional and financial support from family. Lean on relatives for help when your self esteem plunges. In time, you'll be ready to pick yourself up and try again. Don't set your heart on a particular institution. The Universe may be steering you to a more suitable place. Widen your search and keep an open mind. Be honest about your background and experience.More