GOOD news for fans of one of the best shows on TV – after a magnificent series finale this week.
A fifth series of Shameless begins filming at the end of April, with double the number of episodes.
A total of 16 one-hour long stories will be produced on a new purpose built set in Wythenshawe.
The award-winning Channel 4 drama has previously been filmed on location in West Gorton and in a Salford studio.
But the decision to recreate the Chatworth estate – including The Jockey – on the new dedicated site means more episodes can be filmed.
The feature-length episode last Tuesday, written by Shameless creator Paul Abbott, saw the Gallagher family and the rest of the estate back on top form.
Manchester-based Paul is a fan of Take That, which is why he chose Never Forget for that wonderful closing sequence involving all the cast at Karen and Jamie’s wedding reception.
From the opening bars of the song to the closing titles, it was three minutes and 34 seconds of glorious TV perfection.
And where else but Shameless would you get such a brilliant script twist as Frank left The Jockey and wandered off into the night?
Take That – themselves avid viewers of all things Chatsworth – were sent DVDs of the finished episode before it screened.
There was so much to enjoy, including Frank’s (David Threlfall) latest stream of consciousness and Paddy’s (Sean Gilder) breakdown.
True love won out for Karen (Rebecca Atkinson) and Jamie (Aaron McCusker), with Jamie (pictured right) also managing to fix father Paddy’s problem.
With superb performances from the rest of the cast, the episode was full of great touches, like the uncovering of that bedroom poster of Take That when they were just boys.
This fourth series has proved to be the most popular yet, attracting an average of 3.5m viewers.
I have to admit I had my doubts about whether the Shameless team of writers could sustain the quality for the next series – and even a sixth planned for after that.
Now I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
As reader Chris commented elsewhere on this blog earlier in the week: “Shameless, pure class.”
If you missed the Shameless cast’s performance of Never Forget, you can watch it here via YouTube.
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