His conversation comes in torrents of half-realised sentences, jokes, profane anecdotes and rat-a-tat laughter. Two days! Abbott is now 56, with a distinguished year career in television, but he retains the enthusiasm — and physique — of a man half his age. Which is no mean achievement, given the life he has led. Every writer is engaged in what John Updike called unpacking his own bag, but some have more baggage to attend to than others. The bare bones of his biography have been laid out before, but they are hard to skip over. The second youngest of nine children, he was nine when his mother left the family home in Burnley. Abbott was raped by a stranger at 13 — some reports put his age at 11 — and tried to kill himself by jumping off a multistorey car park, but managed only to break his leg. At 15 he had a nervous breakdown, made another suicide attempt and was sectioned.
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Frank and Karen hit the road for their driving lesson, although Karen has some extra-curricular lessons on the timetable. The Gallaghers need a parent for parent's evening or else social services would have them all into care before you could say 'Home Alone'. Frank refuses to go along for his own kids but happily attends as Karen's guardian. Steve stands in for Frank but catches Frank and Karen shagging in the school toilets. Frank is not the only one to get found out. Ian and Kash are caught on camera by Kash's wife Yvonne. Is it the end for love's young dream? And will she tell the estate, his family and his kids that they are gay?
Not many of us could feel affection for a father who is regularly delivered home by the police, passed out and covered in piss. But then again, a few years ago, not many would have imagined that a rock star best known for snorting ants and biting the heads off bats would become an internationally beloved family man. So, when, in Shameless , single father of six Frank Gallagher David Threlfall arrives in the aforementioned state, his kids don't throw him out.