Sheridan Smith, the actress best known for her roles on Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Gavin & Stacey, is to play Charmian Biggs in the new five-part ITV drama Mrs Biggs.
She is joined by Daniel Mays (Public Enemies, Ashes to Ashes), who will feature as Charmian’s infamous ex-husband, the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs.
Written by Jeff Pope, who also penned the award-winning See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Mrs Biggs will chronicle Charmian’s life from the fateful moment that – as a teenager – she first met and fell in love with the flirtatious and worldly Biggs.
Despite being blissfully unaware of Biggs’s plans to ambush the Glasgow to Euston mail train in 1963, Charmian nonetheless decided to go on the run with her husband and children after he dramatically skipped over the wall of Wandsworth prison.
Smith said of the woman she is set to portray: “Charmian is an incredible woman and I’m so lucky that she’ll be on hand to support me and give me advice during the shoot. I hope that I can do her story justice.”
The real-life Charmian Biggs, who has acted as consultant on the production, commented: “If my story were to be dramatised I wanted it to be done as accurately as possible. It seemed to me this was an opportunity to convey the rollercoaster of emotions involved, rather than just the bare facts.”
Smith and Mays will be joined by Adrian Scarborough (Upstairs Downstairs, Cranford) and Caroline Goodall (Schindler’s List, The Good Wife), who are to play Charmian’s parents, Bernard and Muriel Powell.