NOW, nobody’s saying the Chatsworth estate is the Garden of Eden.
But it’s been a good home to Frank Gallagher and his kids.
This week they moved to a new TV base in Wythenshawe, although the estate will look exactly the same on screen.
Shameless creator Paul Abbott (pictured with Frank) spoke to me and other journalists at the grand opening of the exterior set and studio.
And, among other things, he likened Manchester’s Gallagher clan to the royal family.
“The Gallagher family is identical to so many families that are outside that working class sub-culture – sub-working class,” he explained.
“I keep looking at the British royal family and going, ‘We’re not far off that lot.’
“There are less transgressions in Shameless than there are in the House of Windsor, I think.
“That’s not being rude about anybody – we all know they’re archetypes. They’re not class defined.
“There is a generic formula to that family – the highest we’ve got is the royal family.”
He remains unmoved by the prospect of earning huge sums in America via the movie version of State of Play and a possible Shameless re-make.
“Two units of a production over there is $200m. Two units for me here is a tenner.
“Honestly, I don’t care. The writers all end up with so much money, they don’t know what to do with it and they stop being writers.
“They die behind the eyes. You see the light fading.”
Paul also described TV shows like Holby City, Casualty and The Bill as “diluted, half-baked porridge”.
The online version of today’s latest MEN story is here, with more here.
Manchester-raised actor David Threlfall, who plays Frank, also gave a long and fascinating interview at the launch event. More about that on another day.
The new 16-part series of Shameless begins filming next week and will be on screen early in 2008.
Check out the link in the right-hand menu for more blogs about the Channel 4 series.