Sheridan Smith has ditched booze after years of struggling with alcohol, admitting: “I know I’m so much better not drinking.”
The Funny Girl actress, who turns 38 on Tuesday, has the support of her fiance of 18 months Jamie Horn to go sober.
She said: “I’ve stopped drinking. I can see already the bloat in my face has gone. You can’t do it without support but he knows and I know I’m so much better for not drinking.”
Sheridan admitted she still has a long way to go having only been dry for a week. She joked: “Oh my God, that sounds bad, doesn’t it? Well, you’ve got to start somewhere.”
A catalyst for quitting seems to be a now deleted Instagram message she posted in May, saying Jamie’s mother “killed my dog” and is “capable of anything”.
Sheridan said: “I was drunk, upset, emotional and angry and… Can you believe I, of all people, went and put it on Insta again? How many times can I rant off on Insta and regret it and then do it again? I’m such a kn**.”
Sheridan won critical acclaim for TV roles Mrs Biggs and Cilla. But despite the praise, her working-class background made her anxious about fame and she suffered from “imposter syndrome”.
In my industry, we are meant to smile and say, ‘Everything is great. I’m fine. My life is wonderful,’” she told Stella Magazine .
“But that’s not always the way it is. I became a problem for everyone because I couldn’t lie any more.
“I couldn’t really cope with all the expectations on me. I felt stressed and anxious all the time.
“I was supposed to be a celebrity but I couldn’t do it right. I’d be told by publicists how to behave and I’d forget and just say exactly what I thought. I drank pints and made rude jokes and was brilliant at saying the wrong thing.
“I felt I didn’t fit in as an actress. I never went to drama school.
“I was waiting for it to blow up in my face. I felt so lonely and scared a lot of the time and it killed me.
“All people wanted to hear was how happy I was that I was doing so well, but inside I was screaming.”
Graham Norton mocked her at the BAFTAs for missing shows in her lead role of Funny Girl. Sheridan said: “That tipped me over the edge. I lost it. I was in unbelievable distress, trying to keep it together and then a room full of people in my industry were just laughing at me.”
She responded with angry, swearing tweets, admitting: “Honestly, I don’t remember. Drink. Desperation. Humiliation. I fell over the edge.”
Sheridan was so convinced her career was over she had eight tattoos done, including a tribute to her dad.
She said: “You are not meant to have body marking in the theatre. It was my way of self-destructing.”
Sheridan seems back on track with 28-year-old insurance broker Jamie, who lives with her in Kent along with 12 dogs, a couple of horses, four donkeys, two pot-bellied pigs and a pair of goats.
She added: “I’m getting there but I can still go on one. I’m on anxiety medication, which seems to be working. Having Jamie has really helped me. People think I’m mad having so many animals but they give me real peace.”
She will return to the West End this month as the narrator of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.