Sheridan Smith has been cast as the lead in four-part drama Teacher – an upcoming psychological thriller for Channel 5.
Smith will play Jenna, a schoolteacher whose life spirals out of control when she’s accused of a drunken sexual encounter with a pupil, and she’s joined in the cast by a host of familiar faces including former Strictly Come Dancing champ Kelvin Fletcher and Ackley Bridge star Samuel Bottomley.
According to the official synopsis provided by Channel 5, “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.”
The series has been created by Barunka O’Shaughnessy – whose previous credits include several episodes of Motherland – and Mike Benson (Cold Call), while Dominic Leclerc (The A Word, Babs) will take on directorial duties.
Speaking about the casting news, Benson said Smith had always been top of their list for the main role.
“When we first developed Teacher, we had Sheridan in mind as someone who could bring empathy and complexity to the character of Jenna,” he said.
“So the fact she has agreed to come on board is hugely exciting. With eOne now attached we also have a partner who shares both ours and Channel 5’s ambition for Teacher – to explore the challenging and provocative themes thrown up by these types of cases.”
Filming on the series is currently scheduled to begin this month, with a broadcast expected to follow later in 2021.
Teacher is one of many new dramas coming to Channel 5 from scripted studio Clapperboard in the coming months, with others including Intruder, Deadline, Madame Blanc and The Holiday – all of which are set to debut this year.