Creator of the show, Paul Abbott, has worked on many shows over the years including the children’s drama Children’s Ward, and the hit soap Coronation Street. However, it was an idea in 2004 that would lead this writer to great success. Shameless focuses on the Gallagher family and their local neighbours who all live on the fictional Chatsworth Estate in Manchester. The Gallaghers are made up of Frank (played by David Threlfall) and his six children: Fiona (played by Anne-Marie Duff), Lip (played by Jody Latham), Ian (played by Gerard Kearns), Carl (played by Elliott Tittensor), Debbie (played by Rebecca Ryan), and Liam (played by Joseph Furnace). Together they all struggled through life as a working-class family with a drinking dependant father. These characters were also joined by their neighbours the Maguires, the Karibs, and the Powells, including many others. From teen pregnancies to rivalries in the neighbourhood, this show really does have it all.
With so many characters, and even more intricate storylines over the years, we often wonder about what happened to the cast when the cameras stopped rolling for the final time. Did the actors and actresses manage to carry on acting, or was the pressure of starring in Shameless too much to carry on? Perhaps they left the TV world altogether, or was Shameless the first rung on the ladder of a successful acting career? Five years have passed since the finale first aired on our screen, and now we’re itching to see what these stars have been up to over the last few years…
Samantha Siddall as Mandy Maguire
Mandy is Paddy and Mimi Maguire’s only daughter and generally abides by the law more than her rebellious family members. Mandy quickly forms a friendship with Ian Gallagher which goes as far as to see the pair pretend to date. However, when Mandy discovers she is pregnant, she reveals the father is, in fact, Ian’s brother, Lip. Sadly, Mandy is kidnapped in the sixth series by Maureen, and the pair both get caught in a gas explosion in the house marking the end of Mandy’s Shameless timeline.
Samantha Siddall today
This actress was in 51 episodes of Shameless altogether, including a reappearance in 2011 as Mandy during a flashback. Since exiting the show, Samantha has continued to act in various British TV shows, including the medical dramas Casualty, Holby City, Bodies, and Doctors, alongside a small role in the drama series Cutting It. Although her last TV appearance was in 2015, Samantha remains in the acting world. Rather than being on camera, the actress now teaches acting at the Mid Cheshire College.
Tina Malone as Mimi Maguire
This hard as nails character can strike fear into the heart of anyone that stands in her way, not forgetting her husband, Paddy. When she isn’t headbutting various characters, including her own family, Mimi is the local narcotics dealer on the estate. Although this lady is one of the most foul-mouthed on the show, Mimi is always there for her many children and shows she would do anything to protect them. In a twist, Mimi has an affair and child with 14-year-old Billy Tutton before getting married in season eight.
Tina Malone today
While Shameless was still being recorded, Tona was one of the contestants in the 2009 Celebrity Big Brother House, but it looks as though her loudness has followed her off-screen as Tina was the second person to leave the house. Nowadays, the actress runs a drama school, although she was forced to declare herself bankrupt in 2012. In December 2017, Tina was fired from a Christmas panto after it was discovered she was under the influence of illegal substances.
David Threlfall as Frank Gallagher
Frank is the main character of the show, and his drinking dependency often has others thinking that he is uneducated. However, his ramblings at the beginning of each episode give viewers a much different take on the character. Many of his speeches revolve around the fact that he is hardworking, regardless of the fact he is unemployed, and he feels as though society discriminates against him and his family. Although it is revealed Frank has at least nine children, one of his ramblings implies he has fathered many more.
David Threlfall today
Throughout his time on Shameless David wasn’t just playing Frank; this actor also directed several episodes of the show. Since the finale of the series, David has kept himself busy with plenty of other acting roles. Over the years the actor has played Huw Owen in the mini-series Midwinter of the Spirit, Abel Croker in the crime drama Ripper Street, and, most recently, Priam in the historical drama Troy: Fall of a City. When he isn’t on screen, David has made several appearances on stage.
Sally Carman as Kelly Maguire
This character first appears on the estate during the second season and fights a tough battle with her illegal substance addiction. Not long after her arrival, Kelly also starts work as a lady of the night and even convinces Lillian Tyler to run the house. Kelly falls in love with Shane Maguire, and they begin to date before later tying the knot. Although it looks as though they overcome their relationship difficulties, the pair separate during season eight as Kelly falls for another man.
Sally Carman today
During her time on the show, Sally fell in love with Reiki. Sally went on to study the alternative medicine and has since become a therapist at a holistic therapy salon. As well as her new career, Sally continues to act in many shows. Immediately after the show, Sally moved on to appear as Kim in the drama series Prisoners’ Wives before moving on to play various roles in Doctors, Sally Butcher in the crime drama Silent Witness, and most recently has been seen as Abi Franklin in the soap Coronation Street.
Karen Bryson as Avril Powell
Avril appeared in the show during season eight and appeared in 54 episodes until season eleven. Avril enrolls her daughter, Letitia, in private school, but keeps her education a secret from her husband, Jackson. In a bid to cover up the truth Avril often distracts Jackson before he can guess what is going on. Throughout her three seasons on the show, Avril grows close to Mimi Maguire and Libby Croker as the three often hang out and drink together.
Karen Bryson today
Like many others on the show, this actress swiftly moved on to roles in both Casualty and Doctors. However, it was her role as Avril Powell that saw the actress receive several award nominations as well as taking home the 2013 Screen Nation Award for Best Actress in TV. Karen has continued to appear in various TV shows over the years, but has also turned her hand to writing her very own theater show named Shoot to Win that follows the lives of a female netball team.
Sean Gilder as Paddy Maguire
Paddy is the incredibly violent head of the Maguire household. He and his wife, Mimi, run the local narcotics scene on the Chatsworth Estate, which allows Paddy to strike fear into anyone in the area. At the beginning of the show, Paddy has a severe hatred for the Gallagher family and doesn’t hold back in letting them know. After Frank saves Paddy’s life on more than one occasion, he begins to soften. Although Paddy fakes his death at the end of the seventh season, it’s later revealed he is living in Thailand.
Sean Gilder today
Sean has appeared in a huge number of productions since his time in Shameless. Some of these include roles as Robert Beatty in the drama The Shadow Line, Jim Clout in the legal drama Silent Witness, Wulfhere in the historical drama The Last Kingdom, and Max Lane in the military drama Our Girl. Even though he has landed gig after gig, Sean’s latest role as Tholly Tregirls in drama Poldark was heavily criticised due to his character’s accent.
Alice Barry as Lillian Tyler
Lillian is the local busy-body on the Chatsworth Estate as she can’t help but get involved in the drama and gossip. She is in charge of running the local lady of the night house, where Kelly Maguire works as a regular. Although Lillian is involved in many dramas, she is also the comedian of the show as she appears in many after-credit scenes. Brendan Tyler, her husband, was accidentally shot and killed by Carl Gallagher. His death becomes the hot topic of the estate in the second season of the show.
Alice Barry today
During her time on Shameless, Alice Barry was also playing the role of the fortune telling Mary Ann Galloway on Coronation Street. The actress also participated in the competition show Let’s Dance for Sport Relief in 2012 where celebrities reenact famous dances all to raise money for Comic and Sport Relief. One of Alice’s most recent roles has been playing Maureen on the sitcom Benidorm, and it looks as though her character could be returning for the newest season.
Rebecca Atkinson as Karen Maguire
For 129 episodes we got to see Karen Maguire’s in-depth storyline unfold. The character began dating Lip Gallagher but later moved on to have a secret affair with his father, Frank. Karen takes over running the local pub, The Jockey, with her new husband, Jamie Maguire. However, they have a rollercoaster relationship that sees Karen flitting between Jamie and her sister-in-law’s boyfriend, Joe Pritchard. This character is also the only female role to appear in every season of the show.
Rebecca Atkinson today
Rebecca’s romance went further than the screen as she has been in a relationship with Ben Batt, who portrayed Joe Pritchard in the show, since 2008. The pair welcomed Jack, their first son, in 2016, but becoming a new parent hasn’t slowed down Rebecca. In fact, during her time on the show, the actress also appeared in the legal dramas Heartbeat and New Street Law. Most recently Rebecca has played various characters in the daytime medical drama, Doctors.
Rebecca Ryan as Debbie Gallagher
Debbie is the second-eldest of the Gallagher daughters, but often takes the role of their mum as her biological mother and older sister have both left. Many of the family rely on Debbie as a shoulder to cry on in addition to all the tasks she does around the house. All this responsibility means that Debbie grows up a lot quicker than she should, and leaves the show as a 16-year-old with an adult’s head on her shoulders. After years of looking after her family, Debbie signs up to the army at the end of the show.
Rebecca Ryan today
Immediately after the show, Rebecca moved on to another drama show in the form of Waterloo Road where the actress played the role of Vicki MacDonald. However, after the show came to an end in 2011, Rebecca has taken a different turn in her acting career. Like many of her co-stars, the actress took a part in Doctors where she was one of the main characters in a five-part special storyline. As of January 2017, Rebecca is now known as the face of Gemma Dean in the medical drama, Casualty.
Elliott Tittensor as Carl Gallagher
When this character first emerged on the show, he portrayed a minor role, but as time went on Carl became one of the leading figures from the Gallagher clan. During the third series, Carl finds himself in trouble for growing illegal substances in his attic to help the Maguires, but his plan is soon stopped by the police. During season eight, Carl is the only Gallagher sibling left on the show as everyone else has moved away. However, by season nine Carl signs up as a police officer and, too, exits Shameless.
Elliott Tittensor today
Elliott has continued to act in various TV shows over the years, but has not landed a role as significant as his time in Shameless. Unfortunately, this actor has seen his name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the last few years. In 2010, Elliott was driving an uninsured car when he caused an accident with a pedestrian. The person hit with the vehicle, Oliver Flint, has been left with life-altering injuries and is looking to sue the actor for compensation.
Anne-Marie Duff as Fiona Gallagher
Fiona is the eldest of all the Gallagher children and is the one to take on the maternal role after their mother leaves the family. This character appeared in eighteen episodes throughout the first two series but is eventually convinced to leave with her boyfriend, Steve McBride. The pair move to Amsterdam, but the final of the show wouldn’t be complete without a grand return. Fiona arrives back on the Chatsworth Estate where she bonds with her father, Frank, for the first time.
Anne-Marie Duff today
Her relationship with James McAvoy, who originated the role of Anne’s on-screen boyfriend Steve, went further than the show as the pair tied the knot in 2006. Sadly, the couple divorced after a decade of marriage, though much like in this photo, we remember them from happier days. Post-Shameless, Anne-Marie’s career has steadily risen, with her moving on to play Queen Elizabeth I in the historical drama, The Virgin Queen. Nowadays, Anne appears on both the big and small screens, as well as landing many starring roles in theatre productions.
Gerard Kearns as Ian Gallagher
Although Ian lives in the Gallagher residence, it is revealed that his father is Gary Bennett rather than Frank Gallagher. Ian is one of the only LGBT characters, although he enters into a secret relationship with Mickey Maguire. Ian is particularly close to his half-brother, Lip, who is one of the first to discover Ian’s secret. Sadly, Ian gets caught up in Joe Pritchard and Karen Maguire’s relationship which culminates in Ian ending Joe’s life. This event marks the end of the character’s Shameless timeline.
Gerard Kearns today
In reality, Gerard took a break from the show to pursue a career as a movie actor, before formally leaving the series in 2010. Over the years Gerard has appeared in various films, including the BAFTA award-winning war film The Mark of Cain, the comedy-drama Honeymooner, and the crime drama Trespass Against Us. As well as his movie work, Gerard has also appeared in various TV shows such as the drama The Smoke, and the historical fiction show The Last Kingdom.
Jody Latham as Lip Gallagher
Phillip, or Lip as he is better known, is the eldest son of all the Gallaghers. He is one of the most intelligent characters on the show, which eventually lands him a place at university. Lip has a string of relationships over his 38 episodes and goes on to share a daughter with Mandy Maguire. After Mandy’s death, her mother, Mimi Maguire, takes their daughter to be looked after by Lip, meaning he is now the sole carer of baby Katie. Unsurprisingly, Lip opts to keep his daughter far away from the Chatsworth Estate.
Jody Latham today
Over the years, Jody has continued to act in many hit productions. Some of his roles include playing Steve-O Malone in the teen drama Waterloo Road, as well taking soap opera roles as Shane in Hollyoaks and Rob Grayson in Eastenders. The actor has been in the headlines in recent years after a feud started with Adam Hosker from the reality business show, The Apprentice. Thankfully, everything has been settled, and Jody is now trying to rebuild his public appearance.
James McAvoy as Steve McBride
Although this character makes his living through stealing cars, Steve is the unsung hero of the show. He falls for Fiona Gallagher in the first episode, and the pair eventually move to Amsterdam to start a new life. However, while he is still on the estate, Steve finds himself caught up in a death at a narcotics deal gone wrong. Regardless of his criminal history, Steve always tries to look out for Fiona and her siblings, especially when an inebriated Frank Gallagher arrives home.
James McAvoy today
Since his time in Shameless, James McAvoy has gone on to become one of the newest leading names in Hollywood. Shortly after his exit from the series, James played the role of Mr. Tumnus is the fantasy film The Chronicles of Narnia, before landing the voice of Gnomeo in the children’s film Gnomeo and Juliet. Securing the role of Charles Xavier in the latest X-men movies has seen James’ career skyrocket. One of his most prominent recent parts is in the 2016 thriller Split where James played the lead – a character with 23 different personalities.
Maggie O’Neill as Sheila Jackson
This agoraphobic character becomes Frank Gallagher’s second wife. Sheila ended her first husband’s life and hid the evidence in her back garden, while her second husband left in the first season. Sheila is the mother of Karen Maguire and goes on to have twins, Delia and Nigel, with Frank. However, Sheila discovers Frank never divorced his first wife so leaves the show with the twins. Sheila is last known to be heading off on a cruise ship to pursue a life very different to that of the Chatsworth Estate.
Maggie O’Neill today
Before signing up for Shameless, Maggie had already secured various small TV roles. Some of these include parts in the detective drama Inspector Morse, the mystery show Cadfael, and the drama Peak Practise. Shortly after her exit from the series, Maggie landed a small part in the drama series Wild at Heart, in addition to a recurring role as Suzy Branning in Eastenders. Nowadays this actress continues to play various minor roles in TV series, with her latest being an appearance in the medical drama Call the Midwife.
Maxine Peake as Veronica Fisher
Veronica lives next door to the Gallaghers with her husband, Kev Ball. The character quickly becomes best friends with Fiona Gallagher and adopts her new neighbours as her family. Veronica and Kev try to start a family, but the treatment they need is out of their price range. The last time anyone sees Veronica is in a TV report that states she and Kev have been arrested in Romania after they try to buy a child from an orphanage.
Maxine Peake today
This actress has continued to act in a considerable number of roles over the years. Some of her most notable parts have been in the drama series Criminal Justice, and Silk, as well as hitting the big screen in the biographical film The Theory of Everything. In addition to her incredible on-screen career, Maxine has also appeared on stage in a variety of stage shows. Her most famous role to date was in 2014 when the actress secured the lead role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.