Characters: Shameless

A list of characters appearing in Shameless.

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    The Gallaghers 

Frank Gallagher

Played By: David Threlfall (Series 1-11)

  • Abusive Parents: His relationship with Neville, was, not great to say the least. He counts as one himself, as he often headbutts his kids and is generally neglectful to them.
  • Accidental Hero: He throws himself in front of Lilian's car in a desperate attempt to commit suicide. She swerves to avoid him, which accidentally saves her life as she was being threatened at the time by a criminal she was due to testify against. She survives due to her airbags, but the criminal dies. Frank even notes what the odds were of it happening. He also saves Paddy's life by performing a very crude CPR technique on him when he is choking on a crisp.
  • The Alcoholic/Alcoholic Parent: Originally, turns to drink due to Monica leaving him, leaving Fiona to raise the family. Retconned in later series as him always having been an alcoholic and it being a contributing factor to Monica leaving.
  • Cool Old Guy: Has the odd moment.
  • Country Matters
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dirty Coward
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Frank first appears in episode 1, he's a wasted and passed out corpse, being carried into the kitchen by police officers at an ungodly hour of the morning.
  • Faking the Dead
  • Flanderization: Becomes much more of a two-dimensional cunt as the series goes by. Compare Frank in series 1, who one could easily imagine oneself knowing in real life, to the series 11 Frank, a caricature of what once was.
  • Freudian Excuse
  • Gold Digger: Rare male example. When he hears that Sheila is in receipt of large amounts of benefits for her agoraphobia, he is around to her house and moving in like a shot.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being a general waste of space, he's well able to quote Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde in his narrations and can be surprisingly astute and philosophical after the right amount of booze. He's also the first one to spot that Kelly is a prostitute.
  • Kavorka Man: Women all over Chatsworth are all over him, despite him looking like he's homeless. At one point, he's shacked up with Sheila while also sleeping with her daughter, Karen.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He's almost never without his stonewashed jeans and grubby old raincoat. When he accidentally burns Sheila's kitchen, the coat catches fire and gets a patch on the back of it. He temporarily loses it after a night out in the Jockey and he has a breakdown over it. For formal occasions, he switches it out for a leather jacket.
  • The Load
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Never My Fault
  • The Nicknamer: Likes to give out nicknames. Some particular highlights include: Shrek for Norma, Bo'Selecta! for Lillian, and Westlife for Jamie Maguire.
  • Only in It for the Money: All he really seems to give a shit about is getting hold of money without having to actually work for it.
  • Parents as People
  • Pet the Dog: Has his soft side and a few heroic moments, particularly in early series.

Fiona Gallagher

Played By: Anne-Marie Duff, Series 1-2, 11

Frank's firstborn child, Fiona goes through the biggest struggle of the Gallagher family; attempting to hold the family together and raise her five siblings, in the absence of her rubbish parents, all while attending school and trying to better herself. She is devoted to and besotted with her younger brothers and sisters, and often works overtime to ensure they all get the best possible start in life. She barely recognizes the existence of her degenerate father Frank and pours scorn on him at almost every opportunity.

Her life changes dramatically when she meets the Gentleman Thief Steve McBride, who sees the shackles of promoted parenthood, and does his best at every turn to encourage Fiona's independence. She falls deeply in love with Steve and the two of them slowly move up the ladder, getting engaged and acquiring their own house right next door to the Gallaghers.

After Steve flees the UK in series 2, she becomes despondent and depressed, but soon ends up in an unlikely relationship with neighbour Craig Garland - more of Fiona's natural type due to his council estate roots in contrast to Steve. So much so that she actually becomes pregnant with Craig's baby.

However, when Steve returns for Fiona, she realizes that she still deeply loves him. In a whirlwind of emotion and tears, she flees Chatsworth, with the full blessing of her family and friends, to live in the Netherlands with Steve permanently.

Philip 'Lip' Gallagher

Played By: Jody Latham, Series 1-5, 11

Frank's second child and oldest son. Lip is a cheeky twat who gets into a lot of trouble, but is actually a good lad with hardwired morals and ethics, courtesy of his sister Fiona. He bonds the closest with half-brother Ian, but has great relations with all of his siblings in general. By comparison, his relationship with his father is lukewarm at best, with both Lip and Frank seeing each other in a negative light. It can be argued that Paddy Maguire is more of a father figure to Lip, for the short time they are together, than Frank ever was.

Lip goes through many girlfriends and fuckbuddies, long-term and short-term, throughout the series. He accidentally knocks up Mandy Maguire, landing him in a world of trouble with the notorious Maguire gangster dynasty, but he ends up becoming a devoted, loving father to young Katie Maguire at the age of 16.

He eventually leaves Chatsworth and Manchester completely to attend the University of Nottingham.

Ian Gallagher

Played By: Gerard Kearns, Series 1-7

Ian is the third Gallagher child, however we soon find out that he's actually the product of an illicit affair Monica had with another degenerate alcoholic waster, Gary Bennett. His best friend is his brother Lip, who is in the same school year, and is also the first to find out about Ian's sexuality. He also becomes closer to and develops rapport with Carl after Lip leaves Chatsworth.

Out of all the Gallagher siblings, Ian is the one who is the most at odds with adoptive father Frank. Many arguments, headbutts and vitriol are exchanged between the two throughout the series due to various reasons, but Frank reaffirms his love for Ian after he helps to safely deliver baby Stella.

Ian spends his teenage years in a secret homosexual relationship with his employer, Kash Karib. He rarely displays any confusion over his ultimate preference for men, although he does embark on a couple of heterosexual relationships with two different girls, and also maintains a fake relationship with his schoolmate and good friend Mandy Maguire.

After inadvertently killing Joe Pritchard in rural countryside, he drives off with Joe's corpse in the boot and goes AWOL. He is never seen or heard from again.

  • No Bisexuals: Has a relationship with at least 2 different girls (Anna in series 4, and Maxine in series 7, but mostly has sex with men so identifies himself as a gay.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: All of the Gallagher children go through this, but Ian's is definitely the most overt. Being one of the oldest yet lacking the escape routes that Fiona and Lip found (i.e. university or a nice middle-class boyfriend to follow), Ian is the one to stay on the estate longest and constantly question whether life on the Chatsworth is all there is out there.
  • Put on a Bus
  • Straight Gay
  • Transparent Closet: He's tries to hide his sexual preference from everyone out of fear of how he'll be treated around Chatsworth. Most of his family has already figured it out and they don't think any less of him for it. Even Frank suspects he might be gay until Ian headbutts him.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Finds out that Frank isn't his father thanks to Lip's knowledge of blood types, which prompts him to go and try and find his real biological father. Unfortunately, his father turns out to be an Expy of Frank.

Carl Gallagher

Played By: Elliot and Luke Tittensor (series 1), Elliot Tittensor (series 2-9, 11)

Seasons 1-9, 11

Debbie Gallagher

Played By: Rebecca Ryan (Series 1-6)

Liam Gallagher

Played By: Joseph Furnace (series 1-2), Johnny Bennett (series 3-8)

Seasons 1-8

Stella Gallagher

Seasons 6-11

Monica Gallagher

Played By: Annabelle Apison (Series 1, 3, 4-6, 8, 11)

    The Fishers 

Kev Ball

Played By: Dean Lennox Kelly (Series 1-4, 8, 11)

Veronica Ball

Played By: Maxine Peake (Series 1-4)

  • Put on a Bus
  • The Lad-ette
  • The Medic: As a former hospital cleaner, she has picked up enough about medical techniques to patch up the Gallaghers whenever they inevitably get themselves hurt.
  • Show Some Leg: Uses her cleavage to distract the milkman while the Gallaghers rob a few bottles or to get an extra few quid from a used car dealer. She sometimes works as a strip-o-gram and does some webcam work for a bit of extra dosh.

Carol Fisher

Played By: Majorie Yates (Series 1-4)

Marty Fisher

Played By: Jack Deam (Series 1-4, 8-11)

     The Jacksons 

Sheila Jackson

Played By: Maggie O'Neill (Series 1-4)

Karen Jackson (later Maguire)

Played By: Rebecca Atkinson (Series 1-11)

Eddie Jackson

Played By: Steve Pemberton (Series 1)

  • Knight Templar
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He only appears in two episodes very briefly, but his departure from the Jackson home and the conversation he has with Frank about Sheila set the ball rolling for Frank and Sheila's relationship and eventual marriage.

    The Karibs 

Kash Karib

Played By: Chris Bisson (Series 1-4, 6)

  • Asian Store-Owner
  • Faking the Dead
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's implied Chesney leaves him to die in the shop fire when he comes back in series 6, but it's never explicitly stated and just sort of glossed over. The fact that Chesney would commit such a brutal act and the idea of no one investigating the body found amongst the flames (even if Kash was legally dead) is pretty far-fetched in itself.

Yvonne Karib

Played By: Kelli Hollis (Series 1-7, 11)

  • Badass: She is well able to stand up for herself, even holding off a platoon of soldiers with a baseball bat.
  • Batter Up: Her Weapon of Choice is a baseball bat, which she uses on thugs and soldiers alike.
  • The Beard: To Kash. She even stays with him after his affair with Ian comes out in order to have another child.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mess with her shop.

Chesney Karib

Played By: Qasim Akhtar (Series 4-11)

Meena Karib

Played By: Sarah Patel (Series 4), Sarah Bryne (Series 5-6)

Seeta Desai

Played By: Aysha Kala (Series 8)

Auntie Usma

    Police 

Tony

Played By: Anthony Flanagan (Series 1-3)

  • Affectionate Nickname: The Gallaghers give him the nickname 'helmet'.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Just can't handle Steve and Fiona's relationship.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Loses his virginity to Fiona on a one night stand and takes it as a sign that they should be together, spending all of series 1 and 2 trying to awkwardly pursue her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His attempts to ruin Steve and Fiona's relationship and make her take notice of him instead sends Steve on the run and later drives her away from the estate permanently.
  • Rank Up: Gets promoted to Sergeant somewhere between series 1 and series 2.

Stan Waterman

Played By: Warren Donnelly (Series 1-7)

Carrie Rogers

Played By: Amanda Ryan (Series 4-6)

  • Blood Knight: She's looking for a transfer to somewhere with more action and routinely looks for ways to employ violence on the denizens of Chatsworth.
  • Et Tu, Brute?
  • Fair Cop: Her looks are noted by both Stan and Tom, the latter of whom has a crush on her. She's not above showing off some flesh to get her way.
  • Knight Templar
  • Manipulative Bitch
  • Police Brutality
  • Rabid Cop: She's overenthusiastic in the job, often using her baton when force isn't necessary. She uses a tazer gun on Lip, which leaves him with a Raging Stiffie that lasts several days and deploys teargas on a preteen boy who has locked himself in the storeroom of the Karibs' shop.

Tom O'Leary

Played By: Michael Legge (Series 4-6)

     The Maguires 

Paddy Maguire

Played By: Sean Gilder (Series 2-7)

  • All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks: What do you expect from a gangster moneylender?
  • Ax-Crazy: In the early series. One of his first appearances shows him beating up someone who owes him money. And laughing like a lunatic. Before he even appears on the show, Kev refers to him as a 'violent pisshead'.
    • When the Maguires join the cast proper, we see more sides of Paddy and see he's not actually that crazy, at least when not doing business.
    • He still has his moments when under great stress though. He's seen losing it dramatically in the finale of series 4 when he thinks someone is out for his blood, going so far as to kidnap his son Jamie, stuff him in the boot of his car, and drive him round all day because he thinks he's involved. Also, in one episode Ian remarks that Paddy tied the paper boy to the back of his car and drove him round the estate.
  • Badass
  • Bald of Evil: Keeps his head shaved in later series.
  • Break the Haughty: The whole Maureen plot.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Is a drug-dealing psychopath and gangster, but draws the line at harming children, buys the Big Issue, and values family above all else.
  • Honor Among Thieves
  • Large Ham
  • Papa Wolf:
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome
  • Thicker Than Water
  • The Irish Mob
  • The Stoic
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Maureen turns him into a heroin addict.
  • Your Cheating Heart: His affair with Maureen is what lands him in being captured and forcibly injected with heroin by the psychotic woman and then turned loose on the streets, which leads to his marriage with Mimi breaking down.

Mimi Maguire later Tutton

Played By: Tina Malone (Series 2-11)

Jamie Maguire

Played By: Aaron Mc Cusker (Series 4-11)

  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Averted.
  • Reformed Criminal: At least on the surface. Turns out it's all a facade to slowly bump off a group of men who want Paddy dead without arousing suspicion. Makes a more honest attempt at reform after series 4 and is largely successful but is drawn back into 'the family business' after Paddy is turned into a heroin addict and Mimi goes to prison after taking the rap for assaulting Joe.
  • The Stoic
  • Took a Level in Badass: When the Maguire family temporarily falls apart in series 6, he is forced to take up the reigns of his father and develop the ruthlessness needed to run a drug/gun/miscellaneous contraband empire.
  • Wife-Basher Basher Beats Joe to a pulp for beating his sister Mandy.

Shane Maguire

Played By: Nicky Evans (Series 3-11)

Mickey Maguire

Played By: Ciarán Griffiths (Series 4-9)

Mandy Maguire

Played By: Samantha Siddal (Series 1-6, 8)

Kelly Maguire nee Ball

Played By: Sally Carman (Series 2-11)

Fergal Maguire

Played By: Marc Silcock (Series 1(?)-4)

Donny Maguire

Played By: Warren Brown (series 1-2), Steve Bell (early series 3), Clyve Bonelle (later series 3), Unknown (series 4)

Joey Maguire

Played By: Nathaniel Robinson (series 1), Will Willoughby (series 2), Unknown (series 3-4)

Seasons 1-4

Ruby Hepburn

Seasons 9-10

     The Powells 

Jackson Powell

Played By: Emmanuel Ighodaro

Seasons 8-10

Avril Powell

Seasons 8-11

Letitia Powell

Seasons 8-11

     The Croakers 

Libby Croaker

Played By: Pauline Mc Lynn (Series 7-8)

Aidan Croaker

Seasons 8-11

Patty Croaker

Played By: Valerie Lilley (Series 7-11)

     Unsorted 

Lillian Tyler

Played By: Alice Barry

Seasons 2-11

  • Drives Like Crazy: Norma refuses to keep teaching her how to drive on account of her constantly swerving across the road. She crashes the car, accidentally killing a criminal she was testifying against.
  • Band of Brothels: Ends up running a brothel after Kelly and a couple of other prostitutes move in in series 4.

Billy Tutton

Played By: Michael Taylor

Seasons 7, 8-11

Dominic Meak

Seasons 9-11

Kassi Blanco

Season 11

Sherilee

Season 11

Derilee

Season 11

Steve McBride

Played By: James Mc Avoy

Seasons 1-2

Joe Pritchard

Played By: Ben Batt

Seasons 6-7

Norma Starkey

Played By: Dystin Johnson

Seasons 1, 3, 4-6

Maxine Donnelly

Played By: Joanna Higson (series 6-7)

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Meets the Gallaghers through Carl, but is actually more of one to Debbie. She comes to Debbie at a time in her life when she's deciding that she shouldn't be doing Frank and Monica's jobs as parents for them and should be out partying and enjoying herself. When Maxine arrives on the scene, Debbie begins shoplifting, drinking, and pulling guys as an almost daily activity.

Bruce Donnelly

Season 7

Craig Garland

Seasons 2-3

Danny

Season 6

Jez

Played By: Lindsay Dawson

Seasons 1-4

Sue Garland

Played By: Gillian Kearney

Seasons 2-4

Gloria Meak

Seasons 9-11

Maureen

Played By: Julia Ford

Season 6