New ‘No Return’ drama is a holiday from hell

Monday:No Return; (ITV, 9pm)


It’s only February, but 2022 is already shaping up to be a great year for Sheridan Smith.

She began January by starring in the BBC drama Four Lives, which told the stories of the victims of real-life killer Stephen Port and their families.

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Then last week, she took the lead role in Channel 5’s drama The Teacher, playing a woman accused of sleeping with a 15-year-old pupil.

Now, she’s back on ITV in the new four-part drama series No Return as Kathy, who is jetting off an all-inclusive holiday in Turkey with her husband Martin (Michael Jibson, who also appeared in Four Lives), teenage kids Noah (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) and Jess (Lily Sutcliffe), and her sister Megan (Siân Brooke) and her family.

Although there is some sibling jealousy between Kathy and the wealthier Megan, who, on the surface at least, appears to have the more picture-perfect life, everyone is looking forward to a relaxing break.

So, Martin understandably doesn’t think much about it when 16-year-old Noah heads off to beach party. However, the next time Kathy and Martin see their son, he’s being dragged away in handcuffs after being accused of a serious crime which could see him spending years in a Turkish prison.

It’s a nightmare for his parents, and although her own son, Billy, has yet to turn two, Sheridan admits she drew on her own maternal instincts for the role.

She says: “I’ve played a lot of mums but this is the first time I’ve played a mum as an actual mother myself. It’s so different. You can act being a mum but there’s something very different when you are a parent yourself with a child of your own.

“All I kept thinking if it was Billy. Every time that would just set me off. I didn’t have to act too much in the crying scenes because you just imagine this mother going through this hell and thinking if it was my little boy.

“So, I could totally relate to this.”

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She adds: “When we filmed the scene of police arresting Kathy and Martin’s son at their holiday hotel it was actually really horrible. We were in this little room and they had all of these supporting artists with guns playing the police officers. They barge in, push Kathy out of the way and get her son. It’s like, What’s going on?’ Kathy doesn’t speak the language so doesn’t understand them.

“It was genuinely terrifying doing the scene. Let alone what it would be like in real life. It’s your worst nightmare as a parent.”

So, No Return definitely struck a chord with Sheridan, but she hopes that viewers will also find themselves wondering how they would deal with the situation.

She says: “I hope people will relate to this family who go on holiday to Turkey. I love watching things that transport the audience to a different place. But this ends up as the holiday from hell. I think many parents will say, ‘Thank God I’m not in their shoes.’”

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