Shameless: The Naked Truth

Pauline McLynn as Libby Croker

VISITS to TV sets follow their own book of rules.

Filming schedules will often overrun or change.

Putting at risk the interview you may have travelled hundreds of miles to secure.

Trips to the Shameless set in Manchester are always productive.

With perhaps a dozen or more cast interviews conducted in breaks between individual filming demands.

Former Father Ted star Pauline McLynn was keen to talk when I was on the Chatsworth estate television complex last autumn.

But filming of a complicated scene in The Jockey meant we almost missed her.

With time fast running out, Pauline was finally released from her work commitments.

And proceeded to give as entertaining an interview as anyone could possibly hope for.

She arrives on screen tonight as librarian Libby Croker at the start of a new series of Shameless.

As you can read in my feature interview with Pauline here, Libby is Frank Gallagher’s (David Threlfall) new love.

He’s doing community service as a lollipop man and saves Libby when she steps into the path of a car.

Frank and Libby

The course of true love doesn’t run smooth for the pair, as you’ll find out at the end of tonight’s first episode.

With Libby set to return later in this seventh series.

“I haven’t had the lunch ever here, because I’ve been taking my clothes off,” laughed Pauline as she tried to eat a much delayed meal.

“I very rarely get asked to play people my own age, until recently, so I just thought I’d better get in shape.”

You can read what the former Mrs Doyle had to say about her sex scenes in the feature.

Pauline also joked: “My dad is no longer alive and maybe it’s just as well.

“He used to sell parts of cars around the west of Ireland and I could just imagine him going into some garage and them saying, ‘Oh, that daughter of yours.’

“And naked, indeed, on television. Oh my God.”

Pauline had another confession to make.

“I’m afraid I have to say that I have fallen quite hard for Johnny Bennett, who plays Liam, the 11-year-old.

“He is just magnificent.

“I actually went out of my way to ask for scenes with him. So we’ve been given those now. They write the two of us together.

“In our heads we’re The A-Team. He’s brilliant, and he’s going to be the most beautiful man when he grows up.”

*The new series of Shameless begins on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight (Tue).

Shameless: Pauline McLynn

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