Channel 5 drama The Teacher is set to take this week by storm when it airs across four consecutive evenings.


Sheridan Smith stars as teacher Jenna, whose chaotic life is turned upside down after she is accused of sleeping with one of her students. A preview exclusive to teased what's in store for the drama, which Smith herself said makes for "incredibly uncomfortable viewing".

The actress has now revealed what drew her to accept the role, saying she couldn't put the scripts down when she first received them.

"We'd all been in lockdown, I'd had my son and I'd been reading lots of different scripts," she explained. "Then this one came along and I was gripped. Jenna is such a complex character, there are so many layers to her and I love the fact that you don't know if she's telling the truth or not."

She added: "All these twists and turns came along in the story that I did not expect, and I couldn't put it down, which is rare – I read it all in one go. I really wanted to do the show – initially the dates weren't working, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this script. Things moved around so it didn’t clash anymore, and it felt like a sign."

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Smith also discussed how roles written for women can be "quite bland".

She said: "I love playing people who are flawed and complex like Jenna. She's got a drink problem, she’s lost her mum, has a really strained relationship with her dad and she has just gone off the rails and lost herself a bit.

"When she finishes work, she clocks out and has a chaotic life. I always want to make a character likeable because I want to find the heart in them, no matter how flawed someone is, but I do want the audience to doubt Jenna and to feel unsure about where they stand – it's exciting to play that in a role.”

Jenna is not the only intriguing character Smith is playing this year. In ITV's upcoming drama No Return, she plays Kathy, the mother of a teenager accused of a terrible crime while on holiday in Turkey.

The Teacher will launch on Channel 5 on Monday 31st January at 9pm with all four episodes being stripped across the week.


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