Sheridan Smith to play cancer blogger Lisa Lynch

Sheridan Smith Smith is due to play Cilla Black in a forthcoming ITV drama

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Actress Sheridan Smith will play journalist Lisa Lynch, in a BBC adaptation of The C-Word, the book which chronicled her fight with cancer.

Lynch, who died last year at the age of 33, personally asked Smith to play her in the drama after the pair became friends on Twitter.

"Her zest for life was infectious and I was moved and inspired by her courage and bravery," said Smith.

"I couldn't help but love her. That's why I want to tell her story."

Lynch - a former magazine editor - began writing a blog when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

The blog quickly gained a cult following and was acclaimed by critics, leading to the publication of a book, The C-Word, in 2010.

Although she survived breast cancer, a secondary cancer was diagnosed in 2011. Lynch continued to write her blog until weeks before her death on 11 March 2013.

'Ballsy'

Smith, who won a Bafta playing the wife of the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs, said she wanted to tell Lynch's story "for her husband Pete, for her family and for everyone whose lives are touched by cancer".

"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."

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore called it a "defiant, ballsy account of a 28-year-old woman who is newly married, life is all going very well, and then her life absolutely explodes with this diagnosis."

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