Shameless (UK TV series)

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This article is about the original UK version. For the U.S. version, see Shameless (U.S. TV series).
Shameless
Shameless 2004 Intertitle.png
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Paul Abbott
Starring See Cast
Theme music composer Murray Gold
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 11
No. of episodes 139 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Paul Abbott
  • George Faber
  • Charles Pattinson
  • David Threlfall
Location(s) Wythenshawe, Manchester,
England
Cinematography
  • Gavin Struthers (series 4–5)
  • Andy McDonnell
Running time 60–65 mins (inc. advertisements)
Production company(s) Company Pictures
Distributor All3Media
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 4
Picture format 576i 16:9 SDTV (2004-08)
1080i HDTV (2009-2013)
Audio format Stereo (2004-2008)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (2009–13)
Original run 13 January 2004 (2004-01-13) – 28 May 2013 (2013-05-28)
Chronology
Related shows Shameless (U.S.) (2011–)
External links
Website
Production website

Shameless is a British comedy-drama series set in Manchester on the fictional Chatsworth council estate. Produced by Company Pictures for Channel 4, the series aired from 13 January 2004 to 28 May 2013. The comedy drama, centred on British working class culture, accorded critical acclaim by various sections of the British media, including The Sun newspaper and Newsnight Review on BBC Two. The programme was created and partially written by Paul Abbott, who is also the programme's executive producer. In 2005, the show won "Best Drama Series" at the BAFTA TV Awards and "Best TV Comedy Drama" at the British Comedy Awards.

Plot[edit]

Series 1 (2004)[edit]

The first series of Shameless ran from 19 January to 24 February 2004. It consisted of 7 episodes ...

The first series chronicled the life of the Gallagher family and their neighbours. David Threlfall was cast as alcoholic father-of-six, Frank Gallagher. Anne-Marie Duff was cast as his eldest daughter and "head" of the family, Fiona. Jody Latham and Gerard Kearns played Gallagher brothers Lip and Ian. Twin brothers Elliott and Luke Tittensor both took on the role of youngster Carl Gallagher, whilst Rebecca Ryan was cast as Debbie Gallagher, and Liam was played by Joseph Furnace (series 1-2) and Johnny Bennett (series 3-8). Other characters included James McAvoy as Fiona's boyfriend Steve McBride. The Gallagher's next-door neighbours Kev and Veronica, were played by Dean Lennox Kelly and Maxine Peake. Maggie O'Neill played agoraphobic Sheila Jackson, a love interest of Frank. Appearing alongside her were Rebecca Atkinson as her wayward daughter Karen and Steve Pemberton appeared in the first two episodes as Karen's god-fearing father Eddie. Two other characters were introduced, local shopkeepers Kash and Yvonne Karib, played by Chris Bisson and Kelli Hollis. The series also debuted future regular cast members, including Jack Deam, as Veronica's arsonist brother Marty Fisher, his mother Carol, played by Marjorie Yates. The local pub landlady Jez, played by Lindsey Dawson. Samantha Siddall appeared in one episode as Mandy Maguire, whilst Anthony Flanagan and Warren Donnelly appeared together as local coppers Tony and Stan.

The "main" storyline during the first series was the romance between Fiona and Steve. However, many other plots took centre stage throughout the series, in particular, the sexual affair between Frank Gallagher and Karen Jackson, who was dating Lip. The storyline ended with a violent showdown between father and son, and Karen absconding from Chatsworth. Other storylines included Ian Gallagher's homosexuality and his affair with shopkeeper Kash, Kev and Veronica's "fake" wedding, Sheila attempting to overcome her agoraphobia and Frank's strained relationship with most of his kids. The series concluded with a "two-part story", which featured the return of the Gallagher's absent mother Monica, played by Annabelle Apsion, and Frank's growing debts. The series concludes with Frank faking his own death to evade bailiffs and his growing debts and the announcement that Sheila, who had overcome her agoraphobia, was pregnant by Frank.

Series 2 (2005)[edit]

The 10-part second series began on 4 January 2005 and concluded on 8 March 2005.

All cast members from the first series reprised their roles, and many recurring characters became regulars, such as Mandy Maguire, Carol Fisher and Marty Fisher. Mid-way through the series, James McAvoy left his role as Steve McBride. Notably, Tina Malone and Sean Gilder joined the cast as Mimi and Paddy Maguire, who would come to dominate the show in succeeding years. Alice Barry, who had appeared in the Christmas special, joined the cast as Lillian Tyler, whilst Chris Coghill joined the cast as Craig Garland, a new love interest for Fiona, and Gillian Kearney also became a cast members, playing Sue, Craig's estranged wife and a new love interest for Marty. Sally Carman also made her first appearance during this series as Kev's sister Kelly-Marie Ball. In the final episode of the series, Anne-Marie Duff departed the series as Fiona Gallagher, in a plot that saw James McAvoy reprise his role as Steve for the final time.

Series 3 (2006)[edit]

The third series began on 3 January 2006 and ended on 21 February 2006. The series was reduced to 8 episodes.

The third season was the first season to not feature Fiona or Steve who were both heavily featured in the previous seasons. This season saw Carl's character expanded who had a minor role in the first season and a slightly larger role in the second. This season also saw the introduction of Nicky Evans as Shane Maguire who only appeared for one episode but will become an essential character in later seasons.

The season kicks off with a New years Day special where Debbie convinces everyone Liam has cancer to stop him getting expelled from school but it slowly gets out of hand. Monica and Norma return for one episode this season.

Series 4 (2007)[edit]

The fourth series, again consisting of 8 episodes, ran between 9 January 2007 until 27 February 2007. It featured the biggest cast change in the show's 9-year run, with many characters from the first three series departing and many new characters introduced to replace them. Most notably, the series saw the introduction of the Maguire family as main characters rather than the antagonists that they were in the early series. From series 4, the Maguire's would gradually become the focus of the show during its final years. Alongside Tina Malone (Mimi Maguire), Sean Gilder (Paddy Maguire) and Samantha Siddall (Mandy Maguire), new members of the Maguire family were introduced. Firstly, Ciaran Griffiths took on the role of the homosexual yet homophobic Mickey Maguire. Aaron McCusker joined the cast as murderer Jamie Maguire, the oldest Maguire child who had been in prison for 10 years, whilst Nicky Evans, who appeared in a guest role in series 3, returned on a regular basis as "runt of the litter" Shane Maguire. All of the Gallagher family returned, and Annabelle Apsion reprised her role of absentee mother Monica, which led to the exit of Maggie O'Neill as Sheila Jackson. Also returning from previous series was Dystin Johnson as Monica's lesbian lover Norma Starkey, who also became a regular cast member. With the introduction of Aaron McCusker as her new love interest, Rebecca Atkinson, who has played Karen Jackson since the first series, became a more prominent character, having been a recurring character during the second and third series. The Chatsworth police became a regular in the series with Michael Legge and Amanda Ryan portraying young police officers Tom and Carrie, alongside original cast member Warren Donnelly (Stan Waterman)

Series 5 (2008)[edit]

The fifth series aired between 1 January 2008 to 15 April 2008. It consisted of 16 episodes, a big expansion from previous series.

Series 6 (2009)[edit]

The sixth series began on 27 January and concluded on 5 May 2009. Again, the series consisted of 16 episodes.

The series begins with Debbie's sixteenth birthday and her break-up with PC Tom O'Leary. Ian recovers from amnesia, and decides he wants more than his life in Chatsworth has to offer. Monica is going through post-natal depression after the birth of her and Frank's seventh child, Stella. Mickey enrolls in college, and discovers a talent for writing sexy short-stories. Maxine, a spirited young auxiliary nurse, befriends both Carl and Debbie, and moves in with the Gallaghers. A parents meeting at Liam's primary school affirms that Frank's youngest son is a genius. A rift develops in Jamie and Karens marriage. Joe Pritchard, captain of the local football team, becomes Mandy's new boyfriend, but soon reveals a secret obsession with Karen. And Paddy's secret dalliance with another women leads to a chain of events that will change the Maguires forever. The tone of series six was noticeably darker than previous series, something which continued into the seventh series.

Series 7 (2010)[edit]

The seventh series began on 26 January 2010 and concluded on 4 May 2010. As with series 5 and 6, the seventh series consisted of 16 episodes.

Series 8 (2011)[edit]

Unlike any previous series, the eighth series of 22 episodes was split into two halves. The first five episodes were aired consecutively during one week, from 10 January to 14 January 2011, to tie-in with a series-opener story-arc. After this, the series returned to its regular weekly slot, and continued for a further 7 episodes between 18 January to 8 March 2011. After a four-month break, the final 9 episodes of the eighth series began on 30 August 2011 and concluded the series on 25 October 2011. Unlike the sixth and seventh series which were notably darker and more hard hitting, from series eight onwards the show saw another shift in tone to a more sitcom like feel, with more farfetched plots and comedy moments. It is generally believed that this was the beginning of the end for the show, and certainly where viewing figures began to nosedive.

Series 9 (2012)[edit]

The ninth series of Shameless began on 9 January 2012 and concluded on 13 March 2012. The ninth series, originally consisting of 22 episodes, was reduced to 11 episodes, with the remaining 11 being turned into the tenth series. Like 2011, the first two episodes aired on two consecutive nights.

Series 10 (2012)[edit]

Series 10, originally planned to be the second half of the ninth series, was reduced from 11 episodes to 10. It aired between 13 September and 1 November 2012. As with the last two series, the first two episodes aired on two consecutive nights.

Series 11 (2013)[edit]

The eleventh and final series of Shameless began on 26 February 2013 and concluded the show itself on 28 May 2013. An expansion from the last two series, the eleventh series consisted of 14 episodes. The shows final episode saw the return of several departed characters, mostly consisting of the Gallagher children.

Setting[edit]

The Gallagher family reside at 2 Windsor Gardens on the fictional Chatsworth Estate, a deprived council estate in Stretford, near Manchester.[1] Originally the show was filmed on location on the real-life West Gorton council estate in East Manchester and in the Pie Factory Studios in Salford. Since Series 5, the show was filmed from a purpose-built set on the Roundthorn Industrial Estate in South Manchester, on the site of an old Umbro warehouse, and around Wythenshawe and Sale.

Cast[edit]

Shameless initially focused on the layabout Frank Gallagher and the lives of his six children, Fiona and boyfriend Steve, Lip, Ian, Carl, Debbie and Liam, and next door neighbours, Kev and Veronica. Later the Maguire family was introduced: Paddy, his wife, Mimi, and their three sons—Jamie, Shane and Mickey—and daughter, Mandy. The Maguires became the focus of the show as the Gallagher children departed. Other characters also become the focus after only starting off as minor characters, such as those from the Karib family.

Key
Series regular Series guest No appearances
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Frank Gallagher David Threlfall
Fiona McBride Anne-Marie Duff Anne-Marie Duff
Lip Gallagher Jody Latham Jody Latham Jody Latham
Ian Gallagher Gerard Kearns
Carl Gallagher Elliott & Luke Tittensor Elliott Tittensor Elliott Tittensor
Debbie Gallagher Rebecca Ryan
Liam Gallagher Joseph Furnace Johnny Bennett Johnny Bennett
Steve McBride James McAvoy
Sheila Jackson Maggie O'Neill
Karen Maguire Rebecca Atkinson
Kev Ball Dean Lennox Kelly Dean Lennox Kelly Dean Lennox Kelly Dean Lennox Kelly
Veronica Ball Maxine Peake Maxine Peake
Kash Karib Chris Bisson Chris Bisson Chris Bisson
Yvonne Karib Kelli Hollis Kelli Hollis Kelli Hollis
Tony Anthony Flanagan
Jez Lindsey Dawson
Carol Fisher Marjorie Yates Marjorie Yates
Marty Fisher Jack Deam Jack Deam Jack Deam Jack Deam Jack Deam
Mandy Maguire Samantha Siddall Samantha Siddall Samantha Siddall
Monica Gallagher Annabelle Apsion Annabelle Apsion Annabelle Apsion Annabelle Apsion Annabelle Apsion
Norma Starkey Dystin Johnson Dystin Johnson Dystin Johnson
Stan Waterman Warren Donnelly Warren Donnelly Warren Donnelly
Lillian Tyler Alice Barry
Paddy Maguire Sean Gilder Sean Gilder
Mimi Tutton Tina Malone Tina Malone
Craig Garland Chris Coghill Chris Coghill
Sue Garland Gillian Kearney Gillian Kearney
Kelly Ball Sally Carman Sally Carman Sally Carman
Shane Maguire Nicky Evans Nicky Evans
Micky Maguire Ciarán Griffiths
Tom O'Leary Michael Legge
Jamie Maguire Aaron McCusker
Carrie Rogers Amanda Ryan
Chesney Karib Qasim Akhtar Qasim Akhtar
Meena Karib Sarah Patel Sarah Byrne
Joe Pritchard Ben Batt
Maxine Donnelly Joanna Higson
Bruce Donnelly Philip Hill-Pearson
Libby Croker Pauline McLynn
Patty Croker Valerie Lilley
Billy Tutton Michael Taylor Michael Taylor
Avril Powell Karen Bryson
Jackson Powell Emmanuel Ighodaro
Letitia Powell Kira Martin
Aidan Croker Robbie Conway
Sita Desai Aysha Kala
Gloria Meak Angeline Ball Angeline Ball
Ruby Hepburn Kari Corbett
Dominic Meak Stephen Lord Stephen Lord
Stella Gallagher Nikita Brownlee
Patreesha St Rose Jacqui Boatswain
Mary Mae Adelle Leonce
Sherilee Sarah Totty
Derilee Sue Vincent
Kassi Blanco Jalaal Hartley
Esther Blanco Isy Suttie
Tam Blanco Rhys Cadman
Saul Blanco Lewis Hardaker
Thalia Blanco Jade Kidruff
Randall Thaila Zucchi
Remona Moya Brady

Critical reception[edit]

In April 2005, the programme's first series won the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy Television Awards. It was also nominated for Best British Drama at the National Television Awards 2007, but lost out to Doctor Who. Shameless won an award at the Royal Television Awards Society North West Awards 2007 where it beat Coronation Street to the Best Continuing Drama Award.[citation needed]

The programme has been sold overseas, where it airs on channels such as SBS One (Australia),[2] UKTV (New Zealand), Acht (Belgium), I.Sat (Brazil), Showcase (Canada), Virgin 17 (France), Nederland 3 (Netherlands), YLE FST5 (Finland), SIC Radical (Portugal), RTÉ Two (Ireland), BBC America (only aired the first series) and Sundance Channel (United States), yes+ (Israel), I.Sat (Latin America) and Jimmy (Italy).

American version[edit]

Shooting for Shameless, series 10, episode 2, Wythenshawe, Manchester, England

HBO began developing an American version of Shameless after striking a deal with John Wells.[3]

By October 2009, the development had moved to Showtime. John Wells Productions filmed a pilot episode for the cable network in December 2009. It stars William H. Macy in the Frank Gallagher role.[4] Allison Janney was cast as a romantic interest for Frank, but left after taking a job on Matthew Perry's Mr. Sunshine and was unable to be a part of both series. Academy Award nominee Joan Cusack joined the cast as the new Sheila Jackson. Also joining the pilot are Emmy Rossum as Frank's sensible and feisty eldest daughter, and Justin Chatwin as a car thief who falls for her.[5] Showtime's Shameless cast includes Steve Howey, Shanola Hampton, Jeremy White, Laura Slade Wiggins, Joel Murray, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Kenney, and Ethan Cutkosky. The first episode of the series aired on Showtime on 9 January 2011.

Home media releases[edit]

  • Deleted and Extended scenes
  • Audio commentary
Shameless: Series 1
Set Details Special Features
  • 7 Episodes
  • 2 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
Release Dates
United Kingdom,

Ireland

Australia United States
27 December 2004 22 September 2005 24 April 2007
Shameless: Series 2 + Christmas Special
Set Details Special Features
  • 11 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland Australia
31 October 2005 7 October 2010
Shameless: Series 2
Set Details Special Features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
16 January 2006
Shameless: Series 3 + New Year Special
Set Details Special Features
  • 8 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
Release Dates
United Kingdom. Ireland
30 October 2006
Shameless: Series 1-3 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 26 Episodes
  • 8 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
30 October 2006
Shameless: Series 4
Set Details Special Features
  • 8 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
29 October 2007
Shameless: Series 1-4 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 34 Episodes
  • 11 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
29 October 2007
Shameless: Series 5
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Behind-The Scenes
  • Exclusives Audio Commentaries on Episode 9 & 11
  • Building The Set
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
21 April 2008
Shameless: Series 1-5 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 50 Episodes
  • 16 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes From Series 4 And 5
  • Behind-The Scenes Exclusives
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Building The Set
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
21 April 2008
Shameless: Series 6
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meeting Danny
  • Meeting Carl & Maxine
  • Frank's Alternative Titles
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Audio Commentary - Episodes 7&12
  • Her name was Maxine his name was Carl
  • Jockey Drinking Game (Alphabet Males)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
18 May 2009
Shameless: Series 1-6 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 66 Episodes
  • 21 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes From Series 4-6
  • Behind-The Scenes Exclusives
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Building The Set
  • Meeting Danny
  • Meeting Carl & Maxine
  • Frank's Alternative Titles
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio Commentary - Episodes 7&12
  • Her name was Maxine his name was Carl
  • Jockey Drinking Game (Alphabet Males)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
18 May 2009
Shameless: Series 7
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 4 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
17 May 2010
Shameless: Series 1-7 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 82 Episodes
  • 25 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
17 May 2010
Shameless: Series 8
Set Details Special Features
  • 22 Episodes
  • 4 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
9 January 2012
Shameless: Series 1-8 Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 104 Episodes
  • 31 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Special Features To Be Confirmed
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
9 January 2012
Shameless: Series 9
Set Details Special Features
  • 11 Episodes
  • TBA Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
25 February 2013
Shameless: Series 10
Set Details Special Features
  • 10 Episodes
  • TBA Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
United Kingdom, Ireland
20 May 2013

Further reading[edit]

  • Munt, Sally R. (2007). "Shameless in Queer Street". Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame. London: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 133–159. ISBN 0-7546-4921-0. 
  • Walters, James (2006). "Saving Face: Inflections of Character Role-play in Shameless". Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh University Press) 3 (1): 95–106. doi:10.3366/JBCTV.2006.3.1.95. 

References[edit]

Johnson BL. 2012. 'Shameless: Situating Sex Beyond the City' in 'Television, Sex and Society: Analyzing Contemporary Representations'. Johnson B, Aston J, Glynn B (Eds.). London and New York: Continuum.

External links[edit]