Mrs Biggs star Sheridan Smith says, “I hope I’ve done Charmian’s story justice”

by Lynn Connolly

Former Gavin & Stacey star Sheridan Smith is of course headed back to our screens playing the role of Charmian Biggs in ITV’s drama, Mrs Biggs, which of course tells the real life story of Charmian’s relationship with Great Train robber, Ronnie Biggs.

And in an interview with What’s On TV, Sheridan has revealed that she hopes she’s done Charmian and her often tragic story, “justice.”

First, when asked how much she knew about the Great Train Robbery, which took place in 1963, Sheridan replied, “I knew bits and bobs, but there was a lot I didn’t know.

“One of the things I discovered was Ronnie Biggs wasn’t even a big part of it.

“He was blown up like he was the mastermind of it all, but he wasn’t that great a crook at all!

“The fascinating thing is that first they managed to pull the robbery off – it was huge at the time – and also that Ronnie went on the run for so long…

“But nobody knew anything about his wife, Charmian, who went on the run with him.

“That’s why I think this [drama] is so important. I had no idea what she went through.”

And when asked what aspects of Charmian’s life that she thinks might surprise viewers, Sheridan said, “I had a preconceived idea that she was a gangster’s moll, but when I read the scripts I realised I couldn’t be more wrong!

“She was an educated girl who, ironically, met Ronnie on a train and fell madly in love.

“It’s unbelievable what she went through – becoming a single mum when Ronnie went to prison for the robbery, then going on the run and fleeing to Australia with him when he escaped prison.

“She also lost her young son in a car crash, and later divorced Ronnie after he fled to Brazil and got a girl there pregnant. The heart of Mrs Biggs is a love story.”

On how the role has affected her personally, Sheridan said, “I’ve had to go to some dark places, but it’s been an incredible part to play.

“I hope I’ve done Charmian’s story justice. It’s obviously different from what I’ve done before…

“That was terrifying in some respects, especially playing a lead, but it was great to step out of my comfort zone. It was a really, really special job. I hope people like it.”

And finally, she said, “I am so thrilled I was chosen for this role. Some days were more draining than others because we had some really heavy scenes.

“But there are also lots of happy scenes and there was lots of fun on set.”

Mrs Biggs debuts on ITV on Wednesday, September 5th at 9pm, but for now, here’s the drama’s trailer…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.