Sheridan Smith is set to star in new BBC drama about dementia

Sheridan Smith has been cast in upcoming BBC One show, Care, which will tackle the heartbreak of dementia and the difficulties of finding care. Co-written by Jimmy McGovern, who was behind 2017 hit Broken, and before that The Accused – Care will be a one-off 90 minute drama.

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Sheridan will play Jenny, a single mother with two daughters who relies on the help of her own mother Mary (Gavin & Stacey‘s Alison Steadman) to juggle her childcare with her full-time job at a local supermarket in Liverpool.

When Mary suffers a horrific stroke and develops dementia, the family struggle to cope, as Jenny and her sister Claire (Little Boy Blue’s Sinead Keenan) try to balance their day-to-day lives while caring for their mother and fighting for the professional help she desperately needs. The drama is inspired by the real-life experience of McGovern’s co-writer Gillian Juckes.

Announcing the show, Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama said: ‘It’s always an honour to work with Jimmy McGovern, here joining forces with Gillian Juckes on her first script for a television drama. Together they tell a truly remarkable story of one woman’s battle to get the best care for her mother. The cast, led by the wonderful Sheridan Smith, will portray this poignant story with the warmth and gravitas it deserves.’

The drama will strike a nerve with many people who have seen a loved one battle with the disease. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that over 1 million people will be living with dementia by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051. Many people find it hard to access the right care, with the majority of families having to cover the cost of care by looking after their relatives for free, or paying for private social care.

The BBC are yet to announce an air date for Care, but filming will start on location in Liverpool imminently.