Is 'Cleaning Up' Based On A True Story? The Writer Got His Inspiration From An Iconic Film

Cleaning Up/ITV

ITV is about as skilled at milling out gripping drama as you are at watching it, and boy oh boy they are packing zero punches with their latest hit show. Nor is Sheridan Smith, some of the best home grown talent the UK has to offer. And the latest combo of ITV and Smith's skills, Cleaning Up will have you gasping start to finish. But is Cleaning Up based on a true story?

In short, no. Which is pretty surprising considering how believable Smith is in the role, as a struggling working class mother coping with gambling addiction. Cleaning Up is a story about two overnight office cleaners who totally take advantage of the fact that let's be honest, cleaners get behind even the most closed doors in society. Sam, played by Smith, and her friend Jess, played by Jade Anouka, are the main characters in this story of money, crime, and all of the danger that goes along with those things.

Sam and Jade are working in Canary Wharf, the centre of the UK's financial industry. While working over night at a stock brokers, they get involved in insider trading. This is after they hear about insider trading from Blake, a banking boss, played by Ben Bailey Smith. And what is insider trading? According to The Economic Times, insider trading is defined as:

"A malpractice wherein trade of a company's securities is undertaken by people who by virtue of their work have access to the otherwise non public information which can be crucial for making investment decisions."
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After learning the ins and outs of the practice, they decide to go on and give it a shot. Because from insider trading, the pair will be able to pay of their debts, and potentially earn some serious crust on the markets. Not bad is it? Well, you can go to jail for it, so maybe not the very best decision really.

The show is written by Mark Marlow. He spoke to Digital Spy explaining his idea for the show came from watching one particular movie which is all about illicit trading. You guessed it, Wall Street.

"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."

Right so let's make a show about insider trading he thought. Right? Well not quite as straightforward as that actually. Nope far more imaginative than that. Marlow noticed the other ignored characters in the scene. The silent people who are seeing all. The cleaners.

Cleaning Up/ITV
"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?'"

I guess this show is a bit of a modern day Robin Hood, seeing the struggling working classes swindling the rich out of money that they would only use to increase their own wealth. The show asks a lot of questions and is a really interesting look at the mysterious world of trading stocks and shares, and how some mess with the system.