Shameless: Series 8 storylines revealed

Channel 4 drama Shameless has begun filming its eighth season with an unprecedented 22 brand new episodes to be shown in 2011. This series will see the show celebrating its 100th episode (episode 18 of the series).

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> Catch up with Series 7 in our episode guide.

What's coming up?

Four months on, and the Chatsworth estate is having a party – and not just any party, it’s Frank’s (David Threlfall) stag night... he’s getting married to the love of his life, his romantic narcoleptic librarian third bride to be, Libby (Pauline McLynn) – but as the clock strikes midnight Frank disappears, without a trace... The mystery of Frank’s whereabouts is a veritable magical mystery tour into the previously unexplored outer-limits of Frank’s drink and drug-addled mind.

But with Frank absent, an even darker cloud settles on the Estate when a previous Mrs Gallagher, Monica (Annabel Apsion), returns from “buying a loaf of bread” – and looks to lay claim to her family... will Libby use more than just her precious words to stand up to her?

A desperate Karen (Rebecca Atkinson) and baby Conor stand on the outskirts of Chatsworth’s green and pleasant pastures, hoping that Jamie Maguire (Aaron McCusker), who is now fixated on following in his father’s blood stained footprints, will take them back into the fold.

Mimi Maguire (Tina Malone) and her surprise new baby daughter Cilla, have moved back to chez Maguire with her boys. Shane (Nicky Evans) and working wife Kelly (Sally Carman) decide to set up a new Maguire Security business in local schools - the results are great, but Jamie wants to keep it in the family. And Micky (Ciaran Griffiths) discovers his surprising talent as a baby-sling happy surrogate father to his little sister - but the question remains, who’s the Daddy?

Nestled in between the Gallaghers and the Maguires is a new family: fun and fiery housewife and home-brewer Avril (Karen Bryson - Bodies) and mild-mannered, until he’s had a drink, trainee teacher Jackson Powell (Emmanuel Ighodaro - Occupation); plus their chronically, irretrievably thick as shit, but gorgeous teenage daughter Letitia (introducing Kira Martin). Also new to the Estate is Aidan Croker (Robbie Conway - who turns 14 on his first day of filming), Libby’s God-son and refugee from a traveller family - 13 years old, streetwise and a charmer.

Chesney Karib (Qasim Akhtar) takes up the reins running the shop, but his family have sent his beautiful and intelligent cousin, medical student Sita to keep an eye on him - and the family business. Carl (Elliott Tittensor) sees a babe with brains and can’t understand why his usual pulling techniques aren’t working - and pursues her endlessly.

But as the truth behind Frank’s disappearance is revealed, the question still remains: will he get back in time for his nuptials or will Libby be left at the altar nursing a breezer?