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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 07:38 GMT 08:38 UK
Shameless rise to Bafta success
Paul Abbott's Shameless won best drama series at the Baftas
Shameless has proven to be a big hit for Channel 4 since the dysfunctional Gallagher family burst unapologetically onto TV screens last year.

The comedy drama about life on a rough Manchester council estate has been steadily growing in popularity and has won a plethora of prizes.

An audience of more than two million viewers tune in regularly to watch the exploits of the Gallagher family and their stories of scams, sex, drugs, violence and love.

Sharp dialogue, an intelligent script and well-formed characters has made the series one of the brightest new dramas on the box.

It is a position confirmed by the show's recent success at the Baftas and Royal Television Society Awards.

The quality of the writing takes Shameless to another level of television drama
Boyd Hilton, Heat magazine

Boyd Hilton, TV editor at Heat magazine, said there was little to rival Shameless' supremacy.

"I think the acting is brilliant, right down to the kids, and the pace is very fast-moving - I don't think any scene lasts longer than two minutes.

"I can't think of any contemporary drama that comes near to it in terms of quality.

"Only Coronation Street comes close in terms of saying something about modern life in Britain today."

The Gallaghers' life is told through the working-class eyes of those living on the fictional Chatsworth Estate.

Christmas complaints

Head of the Gallagher family is Frank, who embarks on a series of adventures with his children Fiona, Debbie, Carl, Liam, Lip and Ian as the family goes about their chaotic everyday business.

Filming on the third series is already underway, despite the show attracting controversy along the way.

Scores of complaints were lodged against a promotional advert for the Christmas edition of the show last year.

Closely resembling Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, it featured 12 members of the dysfunctional Gallagher family seated around the dinner table for a drunken Christmas meal.

In the centre was Frank wearing a tinsel crown with lager can and cigarette in hand.

Writing skills

But the criticism failed to dampen Shameless' pull - thanks in no small part to writer Paul Abbott.

The critically-acclaimed writer is also behind hits like State of Play, Cracker and Clocking Off.

He walked off with a hat-trick of awards from the Royal Television Society - including best writer and the judges' award for outstanding contribution to TV, as well as best drama series.

Hilton believes it is Abbott's sharp writing skills that has put Shameless at the top of the TV pile.

"The quality of the writing takes Shameless to another level of television drama and makes it almost soap opera-like.

"I think its Paul Abbott's most personal work.

"It is heightened realism of course, but I think it is the closest thing he has done to his working-class, northern background and closest to his heart.

"This is the one thing that has defined him as a television writer and has really put him on the map."

Shameless success at TV ceremony
15 Apr 05 |  TV and Radio
Shameless actress cast as monarch
12 Apr 05 |  TV and Radio
Shameless triumphs at RTS awards
16 Mar 05 |  TV and Radio

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