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Is Cleaning Up a true story? This is what inspired the gripping ITV drama

 Is Cleaning Up a true story? Sheridan Smith in Cleaning Up (ITV).
Is Cleaning Up a true story? Sheridan Smith in Cleaning Up (ITV).

ITV drama Cleaning Up has viewers hooked with its take on insider trading told from a unique perspective - the cleaners who work on the trading floor. 

The six-part series, starring one of the best British crime drama actors Sheridan Smith, premiered on ITV back in January 2019, but has recently enjoyed a resurgence of popularity after being added to streaming giant Netflix. The story centres on Sam, a single mother struggling with gambling addiction, who convinces her friend and colleague Jess (played by Jade Anouka) to try and get in on the lucrative world of insider trading to pay off their debts.

Sheridan is so convincing in the gritty role of Sam that many viewers have questioned whether Cleaning Up is based on a true story. While Sam's character isn't based on a real person, the show's plot is shaped by the iconic '80s film Wall Street, which follows the movements of several real-life figures in the finance industry (according to Investopedia).

This is everything we know about what inspired ITV's Cleaning Up.

Is Cleaning Up a true story?

No, Cleaning Up isn't a true story. However, writer Mark Marlow was inspired by an iconic film about illicit trading, which was based on real people who worked on Wall Street in the '80s.

The writer told Digitial Spy, "I was searching for an idea and I was lying on the sofa one day where I was watching Wall Street with my wife Holly and there was a scene where Charlie Sheen has been given the task of finding some inside information by Gordon Gekko.

"I just happened to notice in the background there was some cleaners. And I just instantly thought, 'If they work in that office, surrounded by inside information, why couldn't they just do that?'"

Gordon Gekko's character in '80s movie Wall Street, whose famous line was "Greed is good", was based on a series of real-life financiers, rather than one specific person accounting to Investopedia. According to the financial media website, Stanley Weiser, who co-wrote the screenplay with Oliver Stone, claimed that Gordon Gekko was partially based on corporate raider Carl Icahn, disgraced stock trader Ivan Boesky, and investor Michael Ovitz.

Is there a trailer for Cleaning Up?

Yes, you can watch the trailer for Cleaning Up, starring Sheridan Smith, below. The snippet of the series shows Sheridan in the role of Sam, a single mother and office cleaner in London's financial district who is struggling to make ends meet.

After realising that the traders in her office are sharing insider secrets, Sam convinces her colleagues to listen in on the tips to try and make some money for themselves and pay off their debts.

Catch all six episodes of Cleaning Up on Netflix now.