Red Eye’s Madeline Delaney star Lesley Sharp’s life off screen – ‘brush with police’ to adoption

Lesley Sharp is set to star as the director of MI5 in ITV’s twisty new thriller Red Eye, where her character Madeline Delaney has to navigate an international tug-of-war over a British surgeon.

Dr Matthew Nolan (Richard Armitage) is on his way back to London from a conference in Beijing when he is arrested over the death of a woman in a car crash in China that he has no recollection of.

He is escorted back to China by DC Hana Li (Jing Lusi), but the plot thickens as it becomes clear Matthew’s life is in danger and Madeline is embroiled in a political game of chess. The series begins on Sunday evening, 21 April, at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

Lesley, 64, is known for her roles in the likes of Scott & Bailey, The Full Monty and Vera Drake – but here’s what we know about her life off screen.

Lesley Sharp stars in Red Eye as Madeline Delaney
Lesley Sharp stars in Red Eye as Madeline Delaney

Adopted as a baby

Lesley was adopted when she was six weeks old and has said she struggled with a sense of belonging for her whole life which she thinks was linked to her adoption.

Tragically, her adoptive mum died from cancer when Lesley was just 15, but she had a close bond with her adoptive father, telling The Telegraph “he was enormously proud and supportive in a quiet, hands-off sort of way.”

Lesley starred in the remake of Swedish drama Before We Die
Lesley starred in the remake of Swedish drama Before We Die

But she said of her mum: “I wish I’d known her, really! You know when you get asked those questions: who would you have had at your fantasy dinner party? Definitely, my mum.”

She told The Independent that she found an outlet in a local drama club after her mum’s death, saying the drama coach noticed she was struggling to process her grief and “without being overly sympathetic, without asking too much about that stuff, she saw what a relief it was for me, to turn up there on Wednesday evenings.”

Proud Northerner

Although Lesley left the North West for London in search of a career in acting aged just 18, she told The Guardian: “I very much consider myself a Mancunian. There is something quintessentially northern in my DNA, even though I’ve lived in London since I was 18. I think it’s a sense of humour and desire to be friendly.”

Lesley and her husband Nicholas Gleaves have two sons together, bt despite being so recognisable on screen she says she can go incognito fairly easily in public.

She told The Guardian: “I’ll be in the supermarket and they’ll say, ‘Are you the woman who goes to the gym with my sister?’ And I’ll say, ‘I don’t know. Probably.’ You can choose to go about your life attracting attention or deflecting it. I’m very happy to do my work and then slip into my private life.”

The screen star featured in acclaimed drama Three Girls
The screen star featured in acclaimed drama Three Girls

Brush with police

She might like to live a quiet life not attracting too much attention off screen, but Lesley has told how she once had a bizarre brush with the police when she thought she’d discovered a body outside her London flat.

Lesley told The Guardian: “When I lived in a flat in Herne Hill, London, I saw a body hanging over the landing of the flat above and thought someone had taken their own life, so I called the police. They found a wetsuit that someone had hung up to dry.”

Love of swimming

Lesley is a proud Northerner despite living in London
Lesley is a proud Northerner despite living in London

The actress loves to relax with a swim and told Coast magazine that she enjoyed visiting Cornwall, but had even been wild swimming in the Thames.

She said: “Although I live in London now, I’ve always felt strongly that I need to be able to get to a stretch of water.

I’ve actually swum in the Thames, near Lechlade, because I do like wild-water swimming. And being able to swim in the sea as part of a holiday, to me, is vital.”

Friendship with Helen McCrory

Lesley had stayed good friends with Helen McCrory, who she starred with in early 00s drama Carla set in Greece, before the Peaky Blinders star’s death in 2021.

She told The Telegraph how they had bought matching bracelets while filming in Greece and said Helen had messaged her on her birthday just weeks before her death.

Lesley said: “I just thought she was an amazing actress – she was brilliant and very, very funny – a whip-smart woman.

“She texted me on my birthday this year (2021) and said ‘happy, happy birthday, lovely girl, I’m wearing this bracelet today and thinking of you’ and all the rest of it. So I texted back and said, you know, amazing, wonderful to hear from you. I’ll be wearing my bracelet…”

Red Eye airs on ITV1 and ITVX on Sunday, 21 April at 9pm

View news Source: https://www.ok.co.uk/tv/red-eyes-madeline-delaney-star-32625291

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