Sheridan Smith hails Liverpool as ‘greatest city in the world’ as she films new Cilla drama

“It’s the greatest city in the world,” grinned Sheridan Smith. “I’ve always wanted to work here.”

Sheridan is in the city for six weeks, filming for ITV1’s new three-part Cilla drama, which is due to be shown in the autumn.

“It’s the friendliest place I’ve ever been,” the 32-year-old told the ECHO.

“I’ve been in everybody’s house, I’ve met everybody’s nan and next-door neighbour.

“When it was cold, people were coming out of their houses bringing us cups of tea. They make good tea.”

The team have been careful to recreate every detail with painstaking accuracy – even down to specially- made dentures for Cilla’s teeth.

“They really help with the accent,” said Sheridan. “I have studied Cilla’s voice but I didn’t want to play the part like an impressionist. That kind of mimicry might not work in a three- hour drama.

“I was lucky enough to meet Cilla. We went out for dinner last week and it was lovely to talk to her.”

The story spans the 1960s, following the singer’s journey along the way.

“We start when Cilla is still working as a typist and it goes right through to 1969 so the character ages through the three hours. Lesley, our make-up artist, is brilliant. She’s replicated all the details so when I sit there and they put my wig and my eyelashes on I feel like Cilla. My own hair has been cut short for the later scenes.  By the late ’60s she had a cute crop so I won’t need the wig later on.”

Sheridan and the team are filming around the city, chronicling Cilla’s journey from the typing pool to stardom, with the help of Brian Epstein and Cilla’s husband Bobby.

Sheridan said: “I’ve been filming with Aneurin (Barnard) who is playing Bobby and those scenes are lovely. Talking to Cilla you can see what soulmates they were. I’ll be filming a scene and I’ll think ‘When am I going to meet my Bobby?’. Maybe he’s a Scouser. I love the accent and the fellas all seem like real gentlemen so you never know.

“I’m here for six weeks so I could go home with a Scouse husband.

Read more at the Liverpool Echo