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'The Teacher': Sheridan Smith thriller cast, plot, first looks, and everything we know

'The Teacher' sees Sheridan Smith leading the cast as Jenna Garvey who works at a British state school.
'The Teacher' sees Sheridan Smith leading the cast as Jenna Garvey who works at a British state school. (Image credit: Channel 5)

The Teacher starring Sheridan Smith on Channel 5 this February is set to truly shock. 

In this intense thriller, Sheridan (see our first look picture above) plays a state school teacher who's accused of a drunken fling with one of her pupils. Sheridan will star alongside former British soap stars such as Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale) and Ian Puleston-Davies (Coronation Street). 

The Teacher is produced by Clapperboard, who created last year's drama Intruder. Clapperboard's Managing Director Mike Benson says: “When we first developed Teacher we had Sheridan in mind as someone who could bring empathy and complexity to the character of Jenna — so the fact she has agreed to come on board is hugely exciting.”

So here's everything you need to know about The Teacher on Channel 5...

Teacher and pupil... Jenna and Kyle (Sheridan Smith and Samuel Bottomley).

Teacher and pupil... Jenna and Kyle (Sheridan Smith and Samuel Bottomley). (Image credit: Channel 5)

'The Teacher' release date

The Teacher will be arriving on Channel 5 in February 2022 although we don't have a date yet and there's a chance it could move months. We will update on the drama's US and worldwide release date but it will become available on streaming service My5 plus its likely to get to BritBox at some point.

Is there a trailer for 'The Teacher'?

There's no official The Teacher trailer released by Channel 5 just yet but we'll be sure to post it when one arrives.

'The Teacher' plot

All we can reveal so far about Teacher is that Sheridan Smith plays Jenna Garvey, a state schoolteacher in her late 30s with a chaotic personal life. Her life then unravels after she's accused of a drunken sexual encounter with one of her pupils, 15-year-old Kyle Hope, after a night out to celebrate a promotion. With no memory of the night in question, Jenna’s only hope of redemption lies in uncovering the truth about a dark event in her past that returns to haunt her. Will her teaching colleagues, friends and family stick by her, or be repulsed by the allegations?

Forbidden fling? Jenna and Kyle.

Forbidden fling? Jenna and Kyle. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Sheridan Smith with co-star Kelvin Fletcher in 'The Teacher'.

Sheridan Smith as Jenna with co-star Kelvin Fletcher in 'The Teacher'. (Image credit: Channel 5)

'The Teacher' cast — Sheridan Smith as Jenna Garvey

Sheridan Smith, who plays accused teacher Jenna, has already had an acclaimed performance earlier this year in BBC1 drama Four Lives in which she played Sarah Sak, the mother of Anthony Walgate who was murdered by serial killer Stephen Port. Her other successful roles were playing Cilla Black in ITV's Cilla and Ronnie Biggs wife in Mrs Biggs, also on ITV. In April 2022 she'll star alongside Jenny Agutter in the sequel movie The Railway Children Return. This year she'll also star in ITV's holiday nightmare drama No Return.

'Teacher' with Sheridan Smith.

'The Teacher' Jenna Garvey (Sheridan Smith) contemplating the chaos in her life.  (Image credit: Channel 5)

Sheridan Smith as Sarah Sak in 'Four Lives'.

'Teacher' star Sheridan Smith as Sarah Sak in 'Four Lives'. (Image credit: BBC)

'The Teacher' cast — who else is starring

In The Teacher, Samuel Bottomley of Ackley Bridge fame will play opposite Sheridan Smith as the state school pupil — 15-year-old Kyle Hope — at the centre of the sexual encounter that Jenna is caught up in. Also look out for former Strictly winner Kelvin Fletcher, Cecilia Noble (Small Axe, Black Mirror) and Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary) who all all star as Jenna's teaching colleagues. 

David Fleeshman (It’s a Sin, All Creatures Great and Small) will play Jenna’s father while former Corrie star Ian Puleston-Davies (Tin Star, Marcella) is also featuring in an as yet unnamed role.

In 'The Teacher' Samuel Bottomley plays pupil Kyle.

In 'The Teacher' Samuel Bottomley plays pupil Kyle. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Samuel in 'Ackley Bridge'.

'Teacher' star Samuel Bottomley a few years ago in 'Ackley Bridge'. (Image credit: Channel 4)

The US version was called 'A Teacher'

In the US back in November 2020 there was a miniseries called A Teacher shown on FX and Hulu. It starred Kate Mara and Nick Robinson as the high school teacher and pupil who had a sexual encounter. It was set in Austin, Texas, and was based on a movie. The drama explored all the complexities of the relationship and the consequences for both, and those around them.

Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.