Actress Sheridan Smith will be making a television comeback after a tumultuous year. The former Gavin and Stacey star will star in the new series of hit Dave show Crackanory – which is set to feature some of Britain's most notable comedy actors.
The 34-year-old star – who has just finished her run playing Fanny Brice in the West End musical Funny Girl – will narrate the fourth series of the show, UKTV announced on Thursday (13 October).
The critically acclaimed show will return to Dave early 2017 with eight new and original stories and famous narrators.
On her Smith's return to the television, a source said: "She was brilliant on set, really lovely to work with and read brilliantly. She's a brilliant actress and the programme were delighted to have her," The Mirror reports.
Smith has endured a difficult past year as she was rushed to hospital due to "exhaustion and stress" after dropping out of Funny Girl in May, prompting her understudy Natasha Barnes to take the helm. She received treatment at Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford when the incident occurred during her spell at A-list retreat, Champneys.
Spa staff dialled 999 after Smith was suddenly taken ill and two ambulances arrived at the scene before she was taken to hospital, but was later released and is said to have made a full recovery.
Her public meltdown – which included a performance of slurring her words on stage and appearing drunk on more than one occasion – was thought to be partly caused by her father Colin Smith being diagnosed with cancer.
The Cilla star became embroiled in a number of Twitter spats with her followers in the wake of her dropping out of Fanny Brice. One of her replies on the social media sharing site stated: "If u just found out ur dad had cancer u would t be such a heartless human. Take care love."
At just eight years old, Smith lost her brother Julian to the disease and opened up about her loss when playing breast cancer sufferer and friend Lisa Lynch in The C Word.
The vicissitudes of her time in the limelight has also seen some huge successes; the actress previously breezed through her theatrical career and collected an Olivier award for her lead role in Legally Blonde. But Smith will no doubt welcome a return to the small screen, which is arguably her forte after her highly-acclaimed performances on Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, The C Word, Cilla and Gavin & Stacey.
Arnold Widdowson, series producer of Crackanory, said of the hit show's return: "Crackanory is possibly the most addictive show to work on – each series provides a blank slate from which we can transport the viewer into any world we want.
"From a barbershop competition in 1940s New York to bloodthirsty ancient Rome, every episode we stretch ourselves to create increasingly twisted and exciting original stories. The longer format for this series allows us time to delve into each world even more deeply, creating a truly captivating half hour of storytelling for the audience. I'm thrilled and incredibly lucky to be working with such imaginative writers and brilliant storytellers."
Tracey Markham, UK Manager at Audible, added: "Everyone loves to listen to a good story – whatever age they are. Over the past 10 years we've worked hard to reintroduce the pleasure of storytelling to people across the UK through our catalogue of audiobooks and original productions. We're huge admirers of what Crackanory has been doing and see this partnership as a meeting of minds and objectives."
Crackanory will return to Dave early 2017 with eight new and original stories and famous narrators.