WHILST nobody would argue that Sheridan Smith gave a superb portrayal of Julie Bushby, in the drama The Moorside – not even Julie herself, who has praised Sheridan’s depiction of her – people will remain divided as to whether or not it should have been made at all.
One thing is for sure, the neighbourhood on the Dewsbury Moor estate did get a very bad press, particularly once it was found Shannon’s mother Karen had arranged her daughter’s “kidnap”. For three weeks that community lived with the nightmare that a little girl had gone missing, and they searched night after night in freezing temperatures to try and find her and battled to keep the story in the news. They were betrayed, not only by Karen but by the media, even David Cameron said the estate was symptomatic of ‘broken Britain’.
The mixed reactions of YEP readers sum up the split over whether it’s a good thing to tell the story of a great community pulling together or whether it was a disgrace to make a drama out of a real-life trauma. Most are agreed on one or two points though, that Shannon, who will now be 18, has been the victim in all of this and, at 18, should be allowed to get on with her life. The other point is that the community spirit that pulled the neighbours together shows true Yorkshire grit – that is something that was not said enough at the time and did deserve some recognition.