Actress Sheridan Smith has opened up about the effect her father’s death had on her mental health after she had to pull out of the West End production of Funny Girl.
Sheridan’s father Colin passed away in 2016 following an illness, and his death affected the actress so badly she struggled to perform.
She opened up about her experiences on the Jonathan Ross Show, explaining how reluctant she was to step away from her responsibilities.
“It was the worst thing,” she said. “I hate it and I always think ‘The show must go on’ and I hate letting anyone down but I think the public understood in a way that you can’t choose when these things happen.
“It was a gradual build up when my dad got diagnosed and I just couldn’t continue. I lost my mind, I completely did to the point where people were stopping me in the street and cuddling me because people understand that, it’s just life.
“Unfortunately you can’t just take time off from a show, you get a lot of abuse so that’s what happened.”
The West End star said that she often deals with anxiety, but the trauma of her father’s death acted as a catalyst, increasing her anxiety and making it difficult to work.
Now that she’s recovered from her experiences last year, Sheridan wants to speak out about grief and mental health, to help other people be open about the help they need.
“Now I’m in a better place, I want to say ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ because I didn’t speak about it and then it snowballed and it came to this huge head.
“You’re scared to ask for help because people think ‘Oh what have you got to be worried about?’ and I get it but I just think, if [me speaking out] helps one person.”
Sheridan shared her memories of her father, claiming he had set a high standard for relationships.
She admitted that he is the reason she decided to make a new album.
She revealed she’d been asked to record one after filming Cilla Black biopic, Cilla, and her dad had encouraged her to do it, but she didn’t have the guts.
She went on to explain when they asked her again after Funny Girl, she agreed so she could dedicate it to her late father.