Sheridan Smith: Standing up to the system in Cleaning Up

Sheridan Smith: Standing up to the system in Cleaning Up

Sheridan Smith: Standing up to the system in Cleaning Up

Sheridan Smith has become a well-known and much-loved figure in British television following appearances in shows such as Gavin and Stacey, The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

She has won a host of awards, including the BAFTA TV Best Actress prize for her role in Mrs Biggs in 2013, and the National Television Award for Best Drama Performance in 2015’s Cilla.

Most recently, viewers got to see the actress giving another memorable performance in the ITV drama Cleaning Up, in which she played Sam, a cleaner who resorts to desperate measures to escape her financial problems.

No-one suspects the office cleaner.

Sam is facing all sorts of problems in her life: crippling debt, gambling addiction and an ex-husband who wants full custody of their two children.

She works as an office cleaner in the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf, a job that gives her a unique insight into some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on at some of the world’s biggest financial institutions.

As the worries and pressures all around her begin to build up, Sam discovers an exciting but dangerous opportunity to transform her life when she overhears a stockbroker being blackmailed into insider trading.

She soon finds herself completely out of her depth in a world of shady financial practices and high-stakes dealing on the stock market and has to find her way out of the situation without ending up in jail.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of Cleaning Up is a concept that we have seen numerous times on TV and in movies before: the underdog getting one over on the system. With only her wits to rely on - and the fact that no-one suspects the office cleaner of anything underhand - Sam is a compelling character who the audience can’t resist rooting for, however dubious her actions.

Smith shines

There’s no doubt that the performance of Sheridan Smith is one of the highlights of this series, along with the character of Sam, a cleaner who refuses to accept that she can’t change her situation, even if she has to resort to breaking the law.

The Guardian review of the first episode in the series noted that Smith’s stock “keeps on rising”, adding that her “greatest gift” is to throw herself “uncynically” into the subject matter with her whole heart, which keeps the viewer engaged throughout the story.

At the heart of it all is the fact that Sam is a cleaner - a job that gives her the opportunity she needs to transform her life. Here at Aurora, we’re pretty confident that none of our cleaners have ever witnessed any shady financial dealings or illegal practices while going about their work - that’s the sort of thing that only happens in TV shows, right?

What we can guarantee is the highest standards of professional, eco-friendly service at all times.

Find out more about the range of services we offer.


Posted by: Becky Cheall