The last ever episode of Channel 4’s flagship multi-award winning Manchester drama series Shameless broadcast on 28 May Creative England would like to acknowledge its positive impact on the region, since filming began a decade ago on the fictional Chatsworth Council estate.
Kaye Elliott, Creative England’s Head of Production Services: “This flagship long-running series has really helped to attract a critical mass of drama in the North West and contributed towards the healthy growth of a strong network of creative people in the region. Greater Manchester has a long standing heritage as a key base for film and TV but Shameless has really helped to improve the industry landscape, increasing the demand for filming in the region significantly over the last decade.”
Creative England estimates that in the last 10 years, Shameless has generated in the region of £15 million of inward investment into the Greater Manchester economy as well as putting Manchester on the map for filming. An average crew on Shameless involved around 70 people, 90% of which were from the North West region, where the majority of the production budget was also spent.
Over the years, Shameless has employed thousands of people ranging from cast and crew, to chaperones, writers, set builders, painters and those involved in design, production, security and transport. In addition to the economic impact, Shameless has also been crucial to the careers of many British screen stars including: James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff and Maxine Peake, not to mention a talented team of now high profile writers and directors.
Committed to providing industry-focused support to encourage inward investment, and aiming to be a ‘one stop shop’ for productions, Creative England assists in helping them find everything from suitable locations for filming to freelance crew and facilities companies.
Jack Suckling, Location Manager for Shameless (Company Pictures) said: “While working as Location Manager on Shameless, the production liaison service provided by Creative England was an invaluable resource for me. Their relationships with officials from local councils, Police, and Highways, along with their advice and local contacts made shooting in the North West a fantastic experience.”
Greater Manchester highlighted its commitment to TV and film production in the area by signing Creative England’s Charter, back in November 2011 officially designating the county as ‘filming friendly.’ By signing the charter, the 10 local authorities promise to nurture a positive environment for filming by designating employees as a first point of call for film crews working in the area.
Filming highlights in Greater Manchester last year include Last Tango in Halifax, Mount Pleasant, Scott & Bailey, Accused, Fresh Meat, Utopia, Blackout, Homefront, Prisoner’s Wives, Skins Redux andCitizen Kane. Large numbers of filming days generate millions of pounds of inward investment into the local economy.
Created by award-winning writer Paul Abbott and starring David Threlfall at its heart playing the feckless anti-hero Frank Gallagher, the first four series of Shameless were shot on location in Gorton, Manchester with their then studio facility based at an empty warehouse in Salford. For the start of series 5, the whole Chatsworth estate was recreated on the back lot of their new studio facility in Wythenshawe.
David Threlfall said: “We’ve had a terrific run and it was always going to feel like the start of the end of an era for us all. It is a very close knit community on the set of Shameless with production and cast working so closely for so long.
Shameless has so many stories to tell and I was happy to stay with Frank and the production until it was time to leave the world according to the Chatsworth. Now it means that for the first time in 10 years I will be able to shave and have haircut.”