Sheridan Smith to star as cancer victim in harrowing new role

Sheridan Smith in The C-Word.
Sheridan Smith in The C-Word.

Doncaster acting sensation Sheridan Smith is to star as a cancer victim in a harrowing new TV drama.

The 33-year-old will play writer Lisa Lynch in the BBC production The C Word which is based on the book of the same name, detailing her last years after being diagnosed with cancer in 2008.

She died in 2013, aged 33, but not before inspiring hundreds of thousands with her book, spawned from her blog ‘Alright Tit’.

Smith, who has shaved her head for the part, said that ‘it was an honour’ to play Lynch.

“I admire her and I want to be her. Look at me sobbing here, I’m not as strong as her,” she said.

“But you can admire someone and go wow. She’s amazing, she’s inspirational and I hope for everyone she will be.

“It’s been an absolute honour to have played her, I just hope I did her justice.”

She played down her striking appearance for the part, however, saying: “It’s just hair, it grows back, it’s the least I could do.

“The eyebrows were the ones. You can’t shave or thread them because they can grow back all weird and as an actress that might be a bit weird, so I had to pluck them and that was quite painful.”

Lynch had contacted Smith on Twitter before her death, asking if she would play her in the dramatised version of her book.

“She went ‘only you can play me’ and I have saved that text. I think maybe she saw something in me I don’t see in myself,” Smith added.

“Everyone loved her and obviously we had a different ending originally. It ended with her making her book.

“I thought what an honour I have to play her. But I am so pleased I did it and if it makes one girl check her boobs and carry on her legacy I will be happy.”

Lynch became a powerful - and humorous - voice for those suffering cancer, which she called “The Bullsh*t™”.

She was initially diagnosed with a five centimetre tumour in her breast, with the cancer then spreading to her lymph nodes.

She was given the all-clear in 2009, following a mastectomy, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, but it returned in 2011, after which she was told it had spread to her brain.

She once wrote: “I don’t like to give cancer credit for anything – but I’m proud of my book and it’s good that something positive can come out of my experience.

“I always intended, one day, to write a book. The way I look at it, cancer is like the Heathrow Express – it did get me there faster, but it cost a lot more.”

Smith, who’s soon to appear in the Frank Darabont-penned ‘The Huntsman’, alongside Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt and Chris Hemsworth, stars alongside actor Paul Nicholls, who plays Lynch’s husband Peter.

The 90-minute drama will air next month.