Jo uncovers hidden secrets in her search for the truth
Sheridan Smith can do no wrong at the moment – she is on a roll. During the past few years, she has scored massive TV hits with Accused, Mrs Biggs, The Widower, Cilla, The C Word and an unforgettable episode of the most recent run of Inside No 9.
So, we’re expecting big things from BlackWork (Sunday, ITV, 9pm), her latest project for ITV. It was written by Matt Charman, whose previous productions include Our Zoo and Suite Francaise.
“Sheridan Smith is a dream to write for because as an actress there’s really nothing she can’t do,” says Charman. “And Black Work is a story that pushes her to the limit – it makes her character, Jo Gillespie, doubt herself, her family, her friends, everything she’s always taken for granted, in her search for her husband’s killer.”
Jo is a policewoman whose husband, a fellow copper, is shot dead while working undercover. But her investigation into his death leads her to delve into the last six months of his life, during which she uncovers shocking secrets about her marriage, which could have an impact on her young daughter and stepson.
To make matters worse, Jo has grown close to a colleague, leaving her overcome with guilt – a fact that puts further strain on her family.
“It must be a horrible feeling to trust someone and then find out they weren’t who they said they were,” explains Sheridan, while discussing the drama. “Jo thinks she knows Ryan and then her world falls apart. She trusted the police force to look after its own family and now she’s not sure of anything.
“I can’t imagine the state of mind you would then be in, to have to take all that in. She doesn’t know who to trust or turn to and fears for her family.”
She adds: “Jo is figuring it all out as she goes along in the same way as the audience are. It’s a psychological thriller and a whodunit. There are so many twists and turns and you really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Filming Black Work took Sheridan back to her roots in Lincolnshire, close to where her parents still live.
“It was lovely to be back home and hear my accent all around me, although no-one really recognised me with my hair like it is. I had to stay in Leeds during filming, even when we filmed in Goole, just down the road from my mum and dad’s.You’re on tight 12-hour days and 6am pick-ups or whatever, but I did manage to get home on my day off.”
Law and order Sheridan Smith stars in the police drama series