Sheridan Smith to star in ITV's undercover police thriller Black Work

(Image credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Sheridan Smith will play a recently widowed police officer driven to find her husband's killer in a new ITV thriller series, Black Work.

Sheridan stars as Jo Gillespie, whose husband Ryan, an undercover policeman, is shot dead in mysterious circumstances. She sets out to discover who murdered him, but encounters difficult truths about her family life and marriage as she does so.

Black Work's writer Matt Charman said: “Sheridan Smith is a dream to write for because as an actress there’s really nothing she can’t do. And Black Work is a story that pushes her to the limit – it makes her character, Jo Gillespie, doubt herself, her family, her friends, everything she’s always taken for granted in her search for her husband's killer.”

Not only is Jo on the hunt for the killer, but she's wracked with guilt following an attachment to Ryan’s colleague and fellow police officer Jack Clark, which puts further strain on her grieving family.

ITV's director of drama commissioning Steve November said: “We’re delighted to be working with Sheridan Smith again and with the hugely talented Matt Charman. Black Work is a high stakes drama which sees Jo risk everything in search of the truth.  It’s a risk she’s prepared to take but it threatens to destroy both her family and career.

Filming on the three-part series will start this autumn in Leeds.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.