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Shameless

Comedy drama set in a fictional housing estate in Manchester which follows the dysfunctional Gallagher family and their neighbours

Genre:
Comedy Drama
Broadcast:
2004 - 2013  (Channel 4 / E4)
Episodes:
139 (11 series)
Starring:
David Threlfall, Gerard Kearns, Elliott Tittensor, Luke Tittensor, Joseph Furnace, Johnny Bennett, Annabelle Apsion, Rebecca Ryan, Jody Latham, Anne-Marie Duff, Sean Gilder
Writers:
Paul Abbott, Daniel Brocklehurst, Amanda Coe, Emma Frost, Ed McCardie, Stephen Russell, Jimmy Dowdall, Tom Higgins, Ian Kershaw, Kevin Erlis
Production:
Company Pictures

Comedy drama following the roller coaster lives of the Gallagher family as they experience life on the edge. Head of the family, in name only, is dad Frank - feckless, self-pitying, feeble, selfish, charmless and an unemployed, alcoholic bully - a model father...

The Gallagher kids are raised by big sister Fiona since mum went AWOL and dad hit the bottle. The boys are Lip, a street-wise, gobby lad around town and Ian is actively gay and keeps his private life very private. Siblings Debbie and Carl plus baby Liam Gallagher round off the highly un-orthodox yet extremely tightly knit family.

From Series 3 Shameless expanded out to focus on a second family too. If there's one family you don't want to cross on the Chatsworth Estate, it's the Maguires. Paddy is the father of this most feared and respected family, and he has little time for Frank.

Our Review: One of Channel 4's most successful shows and it's longest-running comedy drama by quite some distance now (in fact, the programe is now so well established that it has its own purpose-built set).

Not everyone is a fan: some middle-class viewers have found it hard to get into the show as they can't relate to the characters or situations.

However, the show does have many fans who enjoy the mix of family drama and comedy served up in Shameless. The programme can certainly be commended for tackling taboos - for example, one of the main characters is working-class and gay, something rarely portrayed sensitively or accurately in comedy.