If you happen to reside in the UK, cancel all plans on Sunday and watch Sheridan Smith in The C-Word. Having had the great good fortune to have seen this at the 2015 BBC Showcase in Liverpool back in February, this is powerful telly. Unfortunately, most 60-minute programs on the small screen seem like they are 90 minutes…or longer. Sunday’s transmission of The C-Word is the polar opposite in that it’s a 90 minute film that seems like a 60.
The one-off special nothing short of extraordinary. It’s the true story of cancer blogger Lisa Lynch, portrayed brilliantly by Sheridan Smith (Jonathan Creek, Gavin & Stacey, Cilia). Lynch, who at the age of 28 was diagnosed with breast cancer, decided to write a funny and incredibly candid blog about her experiences. She worked closely with screenwriter Nicole Taylor on the adaptation and was involved in casting Smith to play her shortly before she died in 2013 at the age of 33.
Smith said, “I’m so sad that Lisa won’t get to see the finished drama, having been so involved in the development of it. I’m honoured and humbled that she wanted me to play her on screen, and I hope that I will make her proud.”
Lynch’s life as a magazine editor’s is turned on its head when she is diagnosed with what will end up being terminal breast cancer. At the time, her life was filled with talk of weddings, upcoming road-trips and work deadlines. She gained a world wide following following the diagnosis as she refused to become some kind of stereotypical ‘cancer patient’. Her ability to write about her ‘new’ life and the struggles that lie ahead in a positive yet honest way, struck a chord with strangers facing their own lonely struggles.
While it may sound like a downer, The C-Word is one of the most uplifting, positive stories to come along in quite some time. Remember, cancel all plans on Sunday and place yourself in front of the telly at 8:30p on BBC1 and take it all in. Keep your fingers crossed for a public television broadcast in America this Fall.
The C-Word airs this Sunday at 8:30pm on BBC1