Doncaster’s Sheridan Smith ‘in talks’ to star in Shannon Matthews drama

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Doncaster television star, Sheridan Smith, is in talks to star in a BBC drama about the hoax kidnap of Yorkshire school girl Shannon Matthews.

Writer Jeff Pope, who was behind hit blockbuster Philomena, suggested award-winning actress Sheridan Smith is set to play the role of Shannon’s mother Karen.

Mr Pope told the Guardian that the project would be ‘extremely complex’.

He said: “It’s very early stages; it’s not been commissioned yet and the casting process hasn’t even begun.”

When asked if Sheridan might play Shannon Matthews’ mother, Pope replied: “Yes.”

The drama would be made for the BBC and created by ITV Studios, where Pope is head of factual drama

Shannon was nine when she went missing from her home.

She was discovered 24 days later at the home of her stepfather’s uncle Michael Donovan, where she had been imprisoned as part of a scheme hatched with Karen Matthews to collect a £50,000 reward from a national newspaper. Shannon had been drugged and forced to adhere to a strict list of rules while held captive.

Matthews and Donovan were both sentenced to eight years in prison, but were released after serving only four.