Sheridan Smith is ‘friends for life’ with woman she played in Shannon Matthews drama The Moorside

They became fast friends after meeting so that Sheridan could learn the accent


by Emma Dodds |
Published on

Sheridan Smith recently portrayed a real-life woman in BBC drama The Moorside.

Based on the infamous kidnapping of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews in 2008, the first episode of the programme took us through the saga from start to when Shannon is found. As we all know, it turned out to have been Shannon's mum Karen that was behind the evil plot.

Sheridan played Julie Bushby, Karen's close friend who defended her to all who started to doubt her - even Julie's own friend, Natalie, played by Sian Brooke.

Sheridan (centre) plays Julie Bushby in BBC Drama The Moorside (Credit: BBC Pictures) ©BBC Pictures

And it turns out that Sheridan and Julie became very close whilst spending time together.

Sheridan and Julie planned to meet for an hour in a London coffee bar to discuss the show and so that Sheridan could get to grips with Julie's accent, but instead they ended up spending the entire day together.

Speaking to The Daily Mirror, Julie said: "She was out of this world. I’ve met her often since, spending a week with her during filming and we phone each other all the time."

Having once told David Cameron off for not wearing a tie and teased Phillip Schofield for wearing "more foundation than her", it's no surprise that Julie was not star-struck by the Lincolnshire actress.

She said: "She needed me more than I need her. But I have found a friend for life in Sheridan."

Julie outside a court house in 2009 (Credit: Getty Images) ©Getty Images

Julie went on to say that she "didn't expect to meet a fellow northern girl who was loveable and beyond normal."

She said: "She's just like us. She really got me. Yes, she has the showbiz life but she hasn’t forgotten her roots."

We're sure Sheridan will be pleased to hear that!

But it all could have gone terribly wrong after Sheridan started mimicking Julie's accent. The Dewsbury native said: "We'd be having a convo and she was just repeating everything I said. I looked at her like she had two heads. I thought I had a bloody parrot."

However, as soon as Sheridan explained that she was "just trying to pick up her twang", Julie was put at ease by Sheridan's warmth and friendly personality.

"She's extraordinary how she can morph into different characters. She went from Cilla Black to playing me. It’s outstanding."

Karen Matthews was behind the kindap of her own daughter, Shannon, in 2008 (Credit: West Yorkshire Police) ©West Yorkshire Police

Having opened up to Sheridan about her traumatic past, being abused at the hands of her father and tragically losing a baby to cot death, she said: "I put my life into her hands and she didn’t let me down, she never pushed me.

"There are things in my life that I would trust no other actress to have portrayed."

The next episode of The Moorside is on BBC One tomorrow night at 9pm.

Did you think Sheridan did a good job in The Moorside? Will you be tuning in for the second episode tomorrow? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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