THE STORY

ONE-OFF DRAMA CARE STARS SHERI­DAN SMITH AS A SIN­GLE MUM WHO BE­COMES HER MOTHER’S CARER AF­TER SHE DE­VEL­OPS DE­MEN­TIA. FINDS OUT MORE ABOUT THE HEARTBREAKING PRO­GRAMME

South Wales Echo - - Tv Highlights -

SHERI­DAN, 37, plays Jenny, a mother-of-two raising her girls alone af­ter the de­par­ture of her hus­band Dave.

She re­lies heav­ily on her wid­owed mum Mary (played by Ali­son) for help with child­care, so that she can work full-time at a su­per­mar­ket.

But when Mary suf­fers a dev­as­tat­ing stroke and de­vel­ops de­men­tia, Jenny finds her life com­pletely changed; sud­denly, she is re­spon­si­ble for look­ing af­ter her mum, and her daugh­ters, and can­not carry on work­ing.

Plus, she soon re­alises she has a fight on her hands when it comes to get­ting the best care for Mary – along with some tough choices to make.

It’s a topic which Gil­lian, who orig­i­nally wrote Care as a piece of theatre, be­lieves needs more aware­ness.

“We wouldn’t

Sheri­dan Smith with co-writer of Care Jimmy McGovern and her co-star Sinead Keenan leave a tod­dler in the home all day on their own, you’d be pros­e­cuted for it, but that is what’s hap­pen­ing to peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

“We need more nurs­ing homes, and it’s not the fault of the NHS be­cause 24% of their beds are taken with peo­ple over the age of 65 with de­men­tia. It can’t carry on.”

EMO­TIONAL SCENES

LINCOLNSHIREBORN Sheri­dan, and her co-star, Ir­ish ac­tress Sinead, are asked if they tried to laugh in be­tween takes on set for Care, to de­tract from how dark the ma­te­rial was. “I think ev­ery ac­tor takes it dif­fer­ently and does their own

THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW Tonight, ITV, 10.10pm

THE host is joined by Sir Michael Caine, who dis­cusses his role in this year’s Hat­ton Gar­den heist film King Of Thieves, as well as his re­cent mem­oir Blow­ing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life. Also on the sofa is co­me­dian and au­thor David Wal­liams, who will be ap­pear­ing on TV over the fes­tive sea­son in com­edy dra­mas The Queen and I and The Mid­night Gang. The line-up is com­pleted by TV pre­sen­ter Sue Perkins and Olympic gold medal-win­ning ath­lete Sir Mo Farah, while Ge­orge Ezra pro­vides the mu­sic.

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thing,” sug­gests 40-year-old Sinead, who plays Mary’s other daugh­ter, Claire.

“My­self, if I’m do­ing heavy scenes, you go, ‘Oh, this is go­ing to be a fun day’,” she quips.

“You keep your­self to your­self. You’re not ex­u­ber­ant, you’re not bounc­ing around in be­tween takes.”

“Sinead is in­cred­i­ble at stay­ing in the zone, so to act op­po­site her was a dream,” gushes Sheri­dan, known for her in­tense roles in shows such as The Moor­side and Cilla.

Dis­cussing the chal­leng­ing role fur­ther, she says: “In my mind, de­men­tia is the cru­ellest dis­ease there is.

“I can only go on be­ing a carer for a par­ent (her fa­ther lost his bat­tle with cancer in 2016) and try­ing to put my ex­pe­ri­ences into it. But it doesn’t re­ally come close to how I imag­ine that must feel.

“You don’t tell jokes (in be­tween takes), es­pe­cially when this is the sub­ject mat­ter, and Gil­lian’s been through it, and so many peo­ple have GOSH, is it that time al­ready! For been through it. You stay in it when you’re in those mo­ments.”

How­ever, the out­go­ing star con­fides she finds it re­ally dif­fi­cult to stop cry­ing once the tears start fall­ing.

“I’m a night­mare, be­cause I cry at ev­ery­thing!”

FAM­ILY DY­NAMIC

AN IN­TER­EST­ING el­e­ment of Care is al­most three weeks we’ve en­joyed see­ing celebri­ties in­clud­ing Noel Ed­monds and for­mer foot­ball man­ager Harry Red­knapp down in­sect cock­tails; watched The Chase’s Ann talk about her autism, and seen soap stars tackle croc­o­dile’s un­men­tion­ables. Now it’s time for Dec and stand-in host Holly Willoughby to re­veal who the pub­lic have voted this year’s

King or Queen of the Jun­gle. The newly crowned win­ner will then make an ap­pear­ance on ITV2 com­pan­ion show Ex­tra Camp.

NADIYA’S ASIAN ODYSSEY

NADIYA HUS­SAIN takes a trip to Nepal to learn more about its peo­ple, places and food in the fi­nal part of her ad­ven­ture to ex­plore her iden­tity. She be­gins in Kath­mandu, join­ing a sup­per club run by young food­ies who share the vastly var­ied cui­sine of their coun­try. Then Nadiya heads to the his­toric city of Bhak­ta­pur, which was dev­as­tated by how dif­fer­ently Jenny and Claire deal with their mum’s health is­sues.

“Claire’s moved away, and Jenny is the one who does the lion’s share of all the car­ing, which I think an aw­ful lot of peo­ple can em­pathise with, be­cause, more of­ten that not, peo­ple move away from their fam­i­lies,” Sinead – star of dra­mas such as Lit­tle Boy Blue and Be­ing Hu­man – notes thought­fully.

the earth­quake of 2015, and vis­its an abbey to meet nuns from a Bud­dhist sect who prac­tice kung fu and teach fe­male em­pow­er­ment.

THE ROYAL VA­RI­ETY PER­FOR­MANCE 2018 Tues­day, ITV, 7.30pm

THE an­nual event took place three weeks ago, so chances are you’re al­ready aware of what hap­pened and who wore what. Nev­er­the­less, there’s noth­ing quite like see­ing it all for your­self. Hosted by co­me­dian Greg Davies at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium, it’s packed full of amaz­ing per­for­mances and was at­tended by the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex. Mu­si­cal

Sheri­dan Smith as Jenny and Ali­son Stead­man as Mary, right, in Care

Nadiya with a dish for the Kath­mandu sup­per club Mon­day, BBC1, re­gions vary

Greg Davies

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