Cleaning Up – ITV

Cleaning up

Cleaning Up stars Sheridan Smith as a struggling single mum who stumbles upon access to illegal stock market trading at the office where she cleans

Sheridan Smith stars in this new six-part drama that explores the murky world of insider trading

The Cilla star plays Sam, a single mum who works hard cleaning offices in London’s Canary Wharf.

With an online gambling addiction, Sam’s debts are spiralling out of control – but it seems she may have found a solution to her problems when she overhears trader Blake (Brief Encounters’ Ben Bailey Smith) arranging a secret dodgy deal to get rich quick.

Sam hatches a plan with friend and co-worker Jess (Trauma’s Jade Anouka) to get in on the act, but will their gamble pay off?

Entertaining from the start, this drama looks set to shine.

TV Times rating: ****

Cleaning up - Sheridan in lift

Cleaner Sam (Sheridan Smith)

During a break in filming, TV Times sat down with Sheridan, 37, in one of Canary Wharf’s swanky office blocks to find out more about this timely drama…

What can you tell us about your character in this drama?

Sam’s a single mum. She’s a great mum but she’s struggling. She’s working as a cleaner on a zero-hours contract trying to make money but she’s got a gambling addiction and is massively in debt. She’s a very flawed person, which I think viewers will relate to. It’s interesting to play someone who’s that flawed but still has a good heart.

What is Sam’s relationship like with her husband?

Sam and Dave have split up and, when we first meet them, they’re going through mediation. Because of Sam’s gambling addiction, Dave wants the kids to come and live with him, so their relationship is really strained. Dave has also got a lot more money than Sam, so he can buy the girls new phones and stuff like that; things that Sam can’t do. It drives her to want to do more.

Cleaning Up

The sky's the limit for Sam

Wanting to find a way out of her situation, Sam ends up getting involved in insider trading. How does that come about?

Sam’s really savvy and really smart; she just hasn’t had the breaks in life or the opportunities that other people have had. But being a gambling addict means she’s good with numbers and has a very quick mind. So when she hears what Blake is up to, she does some research and picks up this ‘insider trading’ thing really quickly.

Does Sam really think she can get rich quick with this plan?

Sam knows she’s on to something massive! Sam and the other cleaners are like this invisible army in the background; the traders don’t acknowledge they’re even there. So, of course, she thinks, ‘Hang on, I could be on to something really big here.’ It’s that buzz Sam gets from gambling; she’s a real risk-taker.

Mandy Cooper
TV Times Highlights Editor

As TV Times Highlights Editor I get to hear about all the latest TV shows coming soon. Here at TVT HQ we are in the privileged position of selecting the best programmes from across all the channels and streaming platforms. Our mission is to make it easier for our readers to decide what to watch - and give them lots of choice of genres - all the latest shows, plus some nostalgic choices we call hidden gems, too. My career began with a postgraduate degree in periodical journalism (ahem, yes old school!) in 1991 and I’ve worked in TV media since 2000.