Sheridan Smith to play a 'strong female lead character' in Clean Break

Sheridan Smith to play a 'strong and deeply flawed female lead character' in Clean Break

Further cast are announced as production begins on ITV’s new drama Clean Break starring Sheridan Smith 

“Why should they be the ones to cut corners and get rich, but we’re the ones who get shafted” 

ITV today announce that multi award-winning star of stage and screen, Sheridan Smith (The Moorside, Cilla, Mrs Biggs, Funny Girl) has begun filming as Sam in ITV’s brand new drama Clean Break, produced by Sister Pictures. 

Sheridan will be joined by Ben Bailey Smith (Brief Encounters, David Brent: Life on the Road), Neil Maskell (Humans, Utopia), Jade Anouka (Trauma, Chewing Gum), Lloyd Owen (Apollo 18, Silent Witness, Death in Paradise), Robert Emms (War Horse, Happy Valley) and Rosie Cavaliero (Unforgotten, Call the Midwife). 

Sheridan commented: “I’m incredibly excited to be part of Clean Break.  Mark Marlow has written truly brilliant scripts and I feel very fortunate to be involved.  It’s lovely to be returning to ITV and I can’t wait to get started.” 

If you had one shot at a clean break, a chance to turn your life around, to make a fortune and secure a new life, a better life for you and your family, would you take it? And if so, just how far would you be willing to go?  

A cleaner at financial stockbrokers in the City, Sam is one of an invisible army enduring the suffocating grind of a zero hours contract. Mopping and sweeping and into the early hours, Sam’s life is the polar opposite to those she cleans up after.  The traders gilded world of high finance, power, opportunity and luxurious excess, a stark reminder of what Sam and her friends do not have. As she moves through the gleaming buildings of Canary Wharf, Sam dreams of a better life for her and her kids. Struggling with an on-line gambling addiction, which has crippled her with spiralling debts, Sam’s estranged husband is threatening to take custody of their two daughters, 14-years-old Alice and 8-years-old Lily. Ensnared in a financial trap she cannot free herself from, Sam is going under: If she could only catch a break. 

One night in the office, hidden in plain sight, Sam overhears an illegal trade being made; the initial shock giving way to the realisation she has direct access to highly confidential financial information.  Inside information, which could afford her the break she so desperately needs.  

With her life in free-fall, Sam has everything and nothing to lose. Armed only with a copy of Trading for Dummies and a gamblers nerve, this ordinary devoted and loving Mum makes a few tentative steps into the dark, dangerous and illegal world of insider trading, but just how far is she willing to go to turn her fortunes around?  

Produced by Sister Pictures, the drama indie launched by former Kudos Chief Executive Jane Featherstone in January 2016, Clean Break has been created by screenwriting newcomer Mark Marlow. The series will be executive produced by Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Humans, River, Spooks) and Chris Fry (Humans, The Smoke, Spooks), produced by Karen Lewis (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax and Diana and I) and directed by Lewis Arnold (Humans, Broadchurch, Misfits, Banana) who has also developed the drama with Mark Marlow. 

Commented Jane Featherstone: “It’s such a pleasure to be making a show for ITV about contemporary Britain with a strong and deeply flawed female lead character. It’s also enormously gratifying that this comes from an exceptional brand new voice, Mark, and a brilliant up and coming director, Lewis Arnold. Expect it to be moving, funny and surprising.” 

Clean Break has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill. Filming has started in and around London and will film until early 2018.   

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October 20, 2017 10:04am by ITV Press Centre  

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