Portsmouth actress Ellie-May Sheridan stars in CBBC series Dodger and BBC drama Call the Midwife

Portsmouth actress, Ellie-May Sheridan, is rising to stardom after appearing in hit BBC drama series, Call the Midwife - and she’s currently starring in CBBC comedy series Dodger.

By Hollie Busby
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 4:55 am

At just 17, Ellie-May has already landed a starring role as ‘Fagin’s little soldier’, Polly Crackitt, in the 10-part Dickensian drama, Dodger.

Working alongside Fagin – played by Christopher Eccleston and David Threlfall who plays Chief of Police, Sir Charles Rowan, she’s part of a gang of orphans as they duck and dive their way through the criminal underworld – set before the events of Charles Dickens’ iconic novel, Oliver Twist.

And last Sunday, Ellie could be seen playing teenage mother Carol Reece in Call the Midwife.

Ellie-May Sheridan in Call the Midwife

In a clip from the show, she is seen playing a teenage mother in foster care who is just about to live on her own for the first time, pushing new-born, Dean, into the surgery in Poplar.

The storyline featuring Ellie’s character continues into this Sunday’s episode too on February 20.

Before earning her acting debut in Dodger, Ellie had minimal acting experience, and took a leap of faith when she signed on to a casting agency in lockdown.

She said: ‘I always wanted to be an actress but I kept it very quiet to myself because I knew I didn't want to join a drama club or anything like that.

Ellie-May Sheridan who stars in new CBBC series, Dodger.

‘I messaged an agent and said, "this is what I look like, I've got no experience, but please can I audition for you?”

‘They said, yes, they like me, they signed me on. They got me one theatre audition which I didn't get and then my second audition was Dodger.’

It was only when Ellie received the call for Dodger that it reality hit home, and friends and family grew very excited.

Ellie’s mum, Katherine Reed, said: ‘It's still a bit surreal.

Portsmouth actress Ellie-May Sheridan in Call the Midwife Picture: BBC

‘This came out of nowhere really and she just said, 'Mum I'm going to do this thing in lockdown I just thought, OK Ellie-May'.

‘And off she went and she did it and she decided and she made it happen.

‘Lots of people cannot believe how she made this happen. She absolutely loves it.’

Despite lacking in experience, Ellie didn’t find her role as Polly difficult – and she puts this down to the incredible support she received on set.

She said: ‘Director Rhys Thomas and people like Chris Ecclestone and David Threlfall just made me feel like I wasn't the odd one out, like I really belonged there and that I fitted in with all of them.

‘Acting was a new experience but because I had those lot with me it didn't feel super scary or anything.’

Playing Polly comes easily to Ellie because she says her accent is similar to that of her character, ‘a simple, straight forward’ orphan who gets on with tasks from Fagin with minimal faff.

‘Any time I get excited this major geezer accent comes out,’ she laughs.

‘The director will sometimes go and set and go, "Ellie I can hear just a tiny bit of Portsmouth seeping through. I can just hear little hints".

Off the back of Dodger, Ellie landed the role as Carol in Call the Midwife after receiving the casting call from her agent.

Although, it was worlds away from playing a happy-go-lucky tomboy orphan, she really enjoyed it.

‘The idea of playing a teen mum was quite funny for my family,’ she said.

‘Because of Covid I was never allowed to touch my baby. Any shots where I'm close to the baby is actually either the mother or it was very cleverly edited.

‘I look quite young. I don't think I look 17.

‘It was nice to have quite a serious storyline.

‘Of course there's serious elements to Dodger but to come off of a comedy drama to then do a really quite hard hitting storyline is quite nice.’

Despite doing one year at Portsmouth College, Ellie left to do acting full-time.

Now she high hopes of Dodger getting commissioned for a second series and looks forward to seeing another upcoming TV appearance where she plays a character in Casualty.