Sheridan Smith has revealed how she made the transformation into Cilla Black for the three-part ITV biopic, Cilla – false teeth were the key.

Sheridan’s no stranger to doing a Liverpudlian accent, but Cilla’s unique way of speaking was a different challenge.

Sheridan told What’s on TV: “I’ve done Scouse before, but Cilla’s got a real certain lilt and a way of saying ‘thur’ and ‘wur’ and ‘purents’, but she also says ‘loooking’ and ‘coooking’ and I thought that might be a step too far… I didn’t want it to jar on peope’s ears, because when Cilla does it it sounds normal. I didn’t want to start impersonating too much.”

She continued: “…But as soon as I put the teeth in and the contact lenses in and the wig, that’s my favourite bit, the dressing up, because you instantly feel like someone else and the teeth really help with the accent because she’s got a certain way of talking, she’s got a very closed mouth, all of that sort of added to it, there were layers that kind of added to… Cillarisms.”

Cilla starts on ITV at 9pm tonight (Monday). Watch an interview with Sheridan, above.