Sheridan Smith ends 16-month Instagram break with tribute to late father on his birthday

Amy West
Contributor
'Funny Girl' star Sheridan Smith paid tribute to her late father on Instagram, ending her 16-month break from the social media platform (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

After a 16-month absence from the picture-sharing app, Sheridan Smith returned to Instagram on Thursday 13 June to pay tribute to her late father, Colin.

The Gavin and Stacey star posted a collage of photographs of herself and her father, alongside the caption: “Oh today is such a good day!

“Not only would it have been my dad’s birthday, but he must be looking down on me as I’ve been locked out my Instagram for a year. Finally after trying everything, it worked today.”

Read more: Sheridan Smith not returning for ‘Gavin and Stacey’ Christmas special

Later, the BAFTA-winning actor shared a GIF of herself, saying it was good to be back. “Missed you crazy cats,” she added.

Finally, she uploaded a snapshot of a ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ photo frame her mother bought her to commemorate her father’s birthday. In it, there was a sweet picture of him holding Smith as a baby as they caught up on some Zs together.

Smith’s father passed away from terminal cancer in 2016. He was 80-years-old. As part of one-off documentary Coming Home - which aired on ITV in November 2018 - Smith returned to her hometown in Doncaster for the first time since his death.

Talking about how she struggled to come to terms with losing him in the film, she said: "I kind of lost it a bit after he died. I've come out the other side now and I need to get it all out through my music.

"In public it looks like I've moaned about everything with my dad dying, but that's not the case. I just had a massive meltdown.”

Read more: Sheridan Smith opens up about mental breakdown

At the time of his diagnosis, Smith was appearing as Fanny Brice in a West End adaptation of Funny Girl. Her involvement made headlines when three performances were forced to be cancelled part-way through, as audience members claimed she was “slurring her words.”

Despite her parents’ encouragement to continue fronting the show, she found it too difficult and dropped out of the role citing “stress and exhaustion.”

“I thought 'I'm not leaving your side, I'm not leaving you," she explained in the documentary. “I got on the train to do the show and I thought, ‘I can’t do it.’

“It just felt so weird like, ‘How can I be here taking applause?’ I just thought ‘I want to be sat with my dad, sat on his chair cuddling him. I ran away from that, I ran away from that situation.”

Her break lasted two months. In Coming Home, Smith went on to say that it was her mum who helped her get back on her feet.

“[She] was like, ‘Well, you’ve got to get back, you’ve got the show, you can’t let people down’ and rightly so. I know what she is saying, people had bought tickets a year in advance and I hate letting people down.”