Sheridan Smith has spoken candidly about reaching breaking point with her anxiety after the death of her father, Colin.
The British actress and singer has opened up about the loss and the effect it had on her mental health in an upcoming one-off ITV documentary titled Sheridan Smith: Coming Home.
Reflecting on the tragic time, Sheridan said: ‘I kind of lost the plot after that and had a massive meltdown. I ran away. There’s that kind of northern, “Keep calm and carry on” vibe – we’re all like that. I feel I’ve come out the other side now.’
The former Gavin and Stacey star lost her father to cancer in December 2016. In the new documentary, which airs on ITV this Sunday 4 November, she returns to her hometown of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, for the first time since her father’s death.
‘To look at myself is terrifying. It’s scary and is something I guess I’ve run away from, for a long time,’ she admits. While Sheridan states that she has always suffered with anxiety, she explains how the loss of Colin ‘snowballed’ her battle.
‘I’d been performing anyway leading up to that, and I’ve always had a bit of anxiety, and so I was a little bit nervous but the catalyst of it all was my dad,’ she recalls. ‘I want to say “It’s OK not to be OK” because I didn’t speak about it and then it snowballed and it came to this huge head.’
Sheridan’s grief meant the star was forced to cancel her appearance in the musical production Funny Girl, which she reveals she hated having to do, saying: ‘It was the worst thing, I hate it and I always think, “The show must go on” and I hate letting anyone down but I think the public understood in a way that you can’t choose when these things happen.
‘It was a gradual build up when my dad got diagnosed and I just couldn’t continue, I lost my mind, I completely did to the point where people were stopping me in the street and cuddling me because people understand that, it’s just life.
‘Unfortunately you can’t just take time off from a show, you get a lot of abuse so that’s what happened.’
Sheridan Smith: Coming Home will be on ITV on Sunday 4 November at 9.30pm.