Sheridan Smith has revealed a joke made by Graham Norton at her expense tipped her into a downward spiral of humiliation and distress.
The Gavin & Stacey star spoke to The Telegraph’s Stella magazine about her battles with mental health and drinking, saying that the joke at the 2016 BAFTA Awards was rock bottom for her.
She had pulled out of a West End production of Funny Girl because of personal issues, facing allegations of forgotten lines and even being drunk on stage.
Although Smith denied drinking at work, comedian Norton, who hosted the awards that year, said: “We’re all excited for a couple of drinks tonight.
"Or, as it’s known in theatrical circles, a few glasses of technical difficulties."
Smith sent a series of sweary tweets at the time, but has now explained more about how the humiliation affected her.
She said: "That tipped me over the edge. I just lost it
"I was in unbelievable distress, trying to keep it all together and then a room full of people in my industry were just laughing at me...
Feelin pretty vulnerable today after my interview with @StellaMagazine but am proud I have come this far. Honesty is always the best policy. I don’t want to hide or feel shame anymore. I hope it can help others feel the same. It’s ok not to be ok #MentalHealth #ignorethehaters ❤️— Sheridan Smith (@Sheridansmith1) June 23, 2019
"Honestly, I don’t remember [the tweets]. Drink. Desperation. Humiliation. I fell over the edge."
Smith had been struggling with the news that her father had cancer, and sadly he passed away later that year.
My biggest supporter is having a gander 😂🥰 pic.twitter.com/x47rI7y9Fi— Sheridan Smith (@Sheridansmith1) June 23, 2019
Talking about her mental health problems, she said: "I couldn’t cope. I’d been to see specialists about stress and anxiety. I didn’t know what was happening to me.
"All I knew was that the man I loved most in the world was in a hospital bed and I just wanted to be with him."
The actress added that she had recently given up drinking with the support of her fiancé Jamie Horn.
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.”
In May, Smith had posted a now-deleted Instagram clip in which she had drunkenly accused Horn’s mother of killing her dog.
She 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**.”
Smith’s full interview with Stella details her problems with anxiety and feeling like an impostor in her industry despite enjoying huge success.