Shameless blasted onto Channel Four in 2004 as a seven-part series revolving around the lives and loves of the Gallagher family and their friends on the Chatsworth estate. The drama became an instant ratings and critical success and the series was quickly renewed by Channel Four for subsequent seasons. Amongst the original cast of Shameless were Maggie O’Neil, Anne Marie Duff, James McAvoy, Maxine Peake, Dean Lennox Kelly, Rebecca Ryan and Jody Latham all of whom have since departed the series.
With recent seasons getting extended runs, new cast members such as Sean Gilder, Ciaran Griffiths, Tina Malone and Aaron McCusker have been added to the cast. However, ratings are not as high as they once were and questions have been asked in recent years about the longevity of the series which has so far spawned over 100 episodes. Shameless is Channel Four’s longest running drama – a title it won once it passed the five seasons mark. It has successfully been remade for audiences in America on Showtime.
Paul Abbott, Company Pictures and Channel 4 today announced that they are calling time in the Jockey and bringing multi award-winning and iconic Channel 4 drama series Shameless to an end, with one final series – its eleventh, to be broadcast in early 2013. One last series with fourteen brand new episodes, Shameless 11 is currently filming in Manchester. Creator Paul Abbott is story-lining the full series and is planning a suitably Shameless finale for this blisteringly funny and offbeat drama series.
“Its 10th anniversary seems a fitting time to shut the book on Shameless. We’ve had an absolute ball making this stuff up for a living. We’ve given back in spades and got away with absolute murder, on behalf of such a fantastically outspoken audience.
But this is also the year my Dad died and he was, in abstract, my core inspiration for starting the whole Shameless party rolling, I wanted to make invisible people vivid. Closing the two eras in the same year feels very right. Now I’m off to build the next whatever-it-is.” – Paul Abbott
“Shameless: ground-breaking when it launched and gob-smacking ever since, has over the years built a loyal following. We are in Paul Abbott’s debt for bringing his defiantly dysfunctional band of characters to Channel 4 and I’m delighted to say we have other drama projects with Paul in the pipeline. It’s not over yet and I wait to see how Paul, David Threlfall and the talented team at Company Pictures create a fitting farewell to Frank and co on screen early next year.” – Jay Hunt, Channel 4 Chief Creative Officer
Having begun filming in 2003 in Manchester, Shameless 11 will mark the celebratory tenth year anniversary for the series when it broadcasts in 2013. At the end of series eleven a staggering 139 episodes will have been screened on Channel 4.
Shameless charts the wickedly unpredictable chapters of the lives of feckless anti-hero Frank Gallagher (David Threlfall) and all the colourful characters living on the Chatsworth Estate. Over the years Shameless has been key to the careers of many British screen stars including: James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff and Maxine Peake, not to mention a talented team of now high profile writers and directors.
Shameless 11 will be as celebratory, defiant and as unapologetic as ever. With the hilarious energy of the stalwarts of the Chatsworth thriving in the Double Dip recession – always a law unto themselves, always with family at their core, living in their robust micro climate. Stella Gallagher runs the Gallagher roost with a rod of steel – aged six! Jamie Maguire (Aaron McCusker) discovers he isn’t a pure blood Maguire and introduces the estate to his Muslim half-brother Kassi (Jalaal Hartley – The Borgias) and his Jewish cooking mad wife Esther (Isy Suttie – Peep Show) as they disembark on the estate with their four feral children in tow. Mimi Maguire (Tina Malone) makes saving the local school her personal mission.
Feckless patriarch Frank finds himself climbing the employment ladder as the janitor of “St Mimi’s” School and falls into the arms of the Gastric Bandits – a prostitute double act, Sherilee and Derilee (Sarah Totty and Sue Vincent). Fireworks fly when Avril (Karen Bryson) moves in with her loud and overbearing sister Patreesha (Jacqueline Boatswain – Grange Hill) and niece Mary Mae (introducing 21 year old Adelle Leonce) ). Chesney (Qasim Akhtar) opens up a chemist section in Chescos, run by white Muslim atom bomb on a timer Ramona (Moya Brady). And Lip Gallagher (Jody Latham) turns up mid series – and nothing has changed between father and son…….
Creator Paul Abbott is story-lining the new series alongside a pool of talented writers including: Jack Lothian, Mark Brotherhood, John Kerr, Melissa Bubnic plus Sean Conway and Jimmy Dowdall (who are two of the many young writers that Paul has mentored over the years). Executive Producers are George Faber, Charles Pattinson, Paul Abbott and David Threlfall. Series Producer is Jean Holdsworth and producer Tim Whitby. Directors are: Paul Walker, David Threlfall, Dominic Leclerc, Daikin Marsh and Gordon Anderson. A Company Pictures production for Channel 4.