Sheridan Smith has revealed how her new fiancé, former insurance broker Jamie Horn, has helped her get her life back in order following the death of her father.
The 37-year-old was left devastated after her father Colin died in 2016, but it now seems the actress is all set for a fresh start, after finding love with her 28-year-old toyboy, who she met on dating app Tinder.
Speaking on upcoming one-off ITV documentary Sheridan Smith: Coming Home, the former Gavin And Stacey star said: ‘I think I’m the happiest I’ve been right now. Eating a sausage, chips and gravy with the love of my life and my new puppy.’
Back in order: Sheridan Smith has revealed how her new fiancé, former insurance broker Jamie Horn, has helped her get her life back in order following the death of her father
Of her relationship with Jamie, Sheridan told pals she had finally met her ‘prince’ after a string of failed romances.
During the trip back to Doncaster, as part of the ITV documentary, Sheridan, Jamie and her dog Dumbo visit the Yorkshire hotel room where he proposed.
Perusing the room, she said to Jamie: ‘It was on that bed. I’d just come out the shower and you laid where Dumbo is sat. I came out the shower and you went…’
Jamie then chimed in: ‘You going to marry me or what?’
Beau: Former insurance broker Jamie asked Sheridan to marry him in a hotel room in Yorkshire
‘I pulled it out the bag, I thought, ‘It’s a big day’. It felt natural, it was effortless, that’s how I felt about it. You probably thought ‘lazy b*****d’.’
Jamie had already secretly asked Sheridan’s mum Marilyn for her daughter’s hand in marriage during a trip to Blackpool ahead of the proposal.
He admits: ‘That was scarier than doing the real thing. Honestly, that was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done in my whole life.’
As part of the documentary, Sheridan looks back at the time before her father passed away and admitted that she ‘hated letting the public down’ after she was forced to cancel a spate of West End shows.
When her father became ill and Sheridan had begun turning up late for her starring role in musical, Funny Girl.
Sheridan was close to her father and invited him to many industry events such as the Hedda Gabler Opening Night After Party on September 12, 2012
‘As soon as my Dad got that diagnosis it was like, “I’m not leaving your side, I’m not leaving you.” And my mum 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.’
Both Sheridan’s father Colin and her mother Marilyn urged the star to go back to the West End show, but when she did, Sheridan admitted that things went down hill.
‘They’ve taught me that the show goes on, even if they’re ill and I get that, but at the time I was like, “Hang on a minute, reality check, I don’t want to leave my dad.”
‘My dad was saying the same, “Oh love, don’t worry about me”, but how can you not, he was my rock.
Looking back: Sheridan looked back at the time before her father died and admitted that she ‘hated letting the public down’ after she was forced to cancel a spate of West End shows
‘I love my mum but I just didn’t want to go back. But I went back and 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.’
Sheridan dropped out of the show at the Savoy Theatre and was replaced for the rest of the run by her understudy Natasha Barnes.
When her father died she admitted she ‘lost the plot and had a massive meltdown’ with her anxiety snowballing.
She said the loss of her father made her ‘run away’ from her problems’ and said: ‘I kind of lost the plot after that and had a massive meltdown. I ran away.
Grief: Sheridan Smith has admitted she ‘lost the plot and had a massive meltdown’ when her anxiety ‘snowballed’ after her father’s death (pictured in March 2011)
‘There’s that kind of northern, ‘Keep calm and carry on’ vibe – we’re all like that. I feel I’ve come out the other side now.’
Sheridan’s new TV project sees her return to her hometown of Doncaster, for the first time since her father’s death.
The Mrs Biggs actress added: ‘To look at myself is terrifying. It’s scary and is something I guess I’ve run away from, for a long time.’
She said: ‘I’d been performing anyway leading up to that, and I’ve always had a bit of anxiety, and so I was a little bit nervous but the catalyst of it all was my dad.
‘I want to say ‘It’s OK not to be OK’ because I didn’t speak about it and then it snowballed and it came to this huge head.’
Family: The actress and singer, 37, was left devastated when her beloved dad Colin passed away in 2016 (pictured in November 2011 with Colin and her mother Marilyn)
‘It was a gradual build up when my dad got diagnosed and I just couldn’t continue, I lost my mind, I completely did to the point where people were stopping me in the street and cuddling me because people understand that, it’s just life.
‘Unfortunately you can’t just take time off from a show, you get a lot of abuse so that’s what happened.’
In the documentary which airs on Sunday, the actress will talk candidly about her mental health struggles, and will also take part in a homecoming gig on same stage she performed on with her parents when she was a child.
Speaking about the film, the Funny Girl star said: ‘Filming this documentary has been an incredible emotional rollercoaster.’
She added: ‘Re-visiting old haunts and finally performing at the Bentley Top Club where my parents featured regularly has been a very therapeutic experience and has made me realise just how important my roots, family and friends are.’
She’s back: The Funny Girl star’s ITV documentary Sheridan Smith: Coming Home will see her return to her hometown for the first time since her father’s death (pictured in March 2015)
Directed by Tim Pope, the documentary will see the actress embark on one of her toughest personal challenges yet.
As well as her special concert, Sheridan will also explain how her experiences have influenced her songwriting and shaped her new album A Northern Soul, which is set to be released later this year.
During Sunday night’s hour-long speaking about her musical upbringing, she says: ‘I love music, I’ve grown up with music. My mum and dad were a country and western duo. I used to gig with them around all the clubs in Doncaster and all over the country.
‘I remember at school I was kind of embarrassed because he [my dad] would pick me up with a cowboy hat on and a big moustache and I felt so uncool.
And now I think it’s the coolest thing ever.’ While visiting her mum Marilyn, she says she has turned a corner in her grief and can think about her mum’s own struggle.
Healing: Sheridan has ‘always’ struggled with anxiety, but previously admitted her battle ‘snowballed’ following Colin’s death
She explains: ‘I feel like it’s time now to stop thinking about myself and moaning about my grief and all that. It’s like, what she’s been going through we should be standing strong together.
‘We’re always close, we text and whatever but it’s different to going home, giving her a big cuddle, letting her hear the songs.’
Of the show, ITV’s Head of Entertainment Siobhan Greene said: ‘We are chuffed to bits to be working with Sheridan again in Sheridan Smith: Coming Home.
‘She’s a very special and talented girl whose honesty and heart burns brightly through the screen.
‘It’s a never before seen insight into her real life and how that’s inspired her music. And how fab that viewers are going to see it all in Doncaster too.’
Sheridan revealed her battle with depression and anxiety last year, which was triggered by her father’s cancer diagnosis.
But things have steadily got better for the actress, after she began a blossoming romance with former insurance broker Jamie Horn who she got engaged to in May, after just two months of dating.
Jamie is said to have brought Sheridan back to her best – with the actress admitting she is in a ‘very happy place’ again, following a number of mental health woes.
Discussing her relationship, she said: ‘Where I’m at right now I feel like this is really good, I’ve got all that under control.
‘I’ve got doctors’ care, I’m feeling great, I got engaged, I’m in a very happy place (laughs) so I’m very happy and you know that’s it. I couldn’t ask for more really.’
Emotional: In Sheridan Smith: Coming Home, which airs on Sunday, the actress will talk candidly about her mental health struggles, and will also take part in a homecoming gig