Sheridan Smith, star of ITV’s biopic Cilla, says she was too nervous to ring the iconic TV and singing star to ask her advice.

Mrs Biggs actress Sheridan is getting terrific advance reviews for her performance as the Liverpudlian star and she did meet her before filming started on the three-part drama.

Sheridan told What’s on TV: “We went for dinner before we started shooting and I was very nervous then because, you know, it’s Cilla Black! I was in awe of her. So I sat next to her and babbled on about how brilliant she was. I had her support straight from then, so it sent me up to Liverpool and put me at ease. I’m hoping she’ll like it, I hope I’ve done the story justice.”

Sheridan added: “She actually gave me her number and I didn’t ring. I didn’t ring because I was so shy! That’s where we differ, me and Cilla. She much more says what she thinks, that’s why she’s got where she is, because she’s so determined and ballsy, whereas I was too nervous to pick up the phone.”

Cilla begins on ITV on Monday, September 15.

Watch Sheridan talk about meeting Cilla and the challenge of taking on the role, above.