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Sheridan Smith is to star in BBC One drama, The Moorside Project which is due to commence filming this Spring.

The drama is being produced by ITV Studios and the same award-winning team behind the acclaimed Appropriate Adult. Sheridan will star as Julie – chair of the Moorside residents and tenants association and prominent in the desperate search to find Shannon Matthews.

“The story is a fascinating mixture of what I thought I knew and a whole lot more that I had no idea about. The themes of faith and trust in human nature, and the way the whole community came together really inspired me.” – Sheridan Smith

Sheridan will be joined by Sian Brooke as friend and neighbour Natalie, Siobhan Finneran who will be playing Christine Freeman, and Gemma Whelan as Karen Matthews. This drama will give a fresh perspective on a front page story we all remember, focusing not on the crime itself but on the community that lived through it.

The two-part drama will reveal how a group of women brought their community together in their attempt to find a child who disappeared in their midst. The focus of the drama is on the spirit and determination of the women at the forefront of the campaign and the impact on them when the truth about Shannon’s disappearance was finally revealed.

“For a short period of time the nation’s focus was on a small corner of West Yorkshire as a young girl went missing in suspicious circumstances. By the time Shannon Matthews had been found alive, we perhaps felt we knew all there was to know about the Moorside estate and the people who lived there. But what we discovered as we researched into this fascinating story is that those conclusions were drawn far too quickly.” – Jeff Pope, executive producer

The series is to be ritten by Neil McKay.

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