Tina Malone's tricky Shameless decision

Tina Malone spent three months deliberating whether or not to hand in her notice on 'Shameless' and when she eventually did it was announced a few weeks later that the Channel 4 comedy-drama show was to end

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Shameless star Tina Malone

Tina Malone

Tina Malone spent three months deliberating whether or not to hand in her notice on 'Shameless'.

The 50-year-old star was concerned about telling producers she wanted to leave the Channel 4 comedy-drama show after portraying Mimi Tutton for so many years, and while she was surprised when it was announced just weeks later 'Shameless' was ending, she thinks it's the "right time" to finish the series.

She said: "At the end the hours I was working were just horrendous.

"I was doing more than anyone, 12 hours a day, every day - I was more like crew than cast sometimes.

"I'd thought about it a long time but it took me three months to tell my producer because they're the best team I've ever worked with.

"Then they announced it was the last series and I thought, 'Oh great, that's p***ed all over my leaving do'.

"But no, seriously, it's the right time. I'm glad we're going out on a high.

"Part of me feels really sad because it was an important show - unlike any drama that had gone before."

Tina insists she is "unschockable" now after portraying a drug-dealing criminal wife for years, which has seen her do everything from putting butter on Jason Manford's private parts to going into prison in her son Jamie Maguire's (Aaron McCusker) place after he beat up bad boy Joe Pritchard (Ben Batt).

She added to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's been a joy to play a woman who was so strong.

"When I started out everything I went for said, 'Roseanne Barr, Dawn French' - fat bird types, basically.

"But Mimi wasn't fat or thin, she was just amazing - a mixture of Mother Courage and Lady Macbeth.

"And Mimi's experienced everything - everything. So I'm unshockable now.

"I had a scene a few years ago where I had to tie Jason Manford to a chair and supposedly put butter on his privates.

"You can't afford to be precious in Shameless - one week you are performing a sex act, the next you're getting stabbed."

The final series of 'Shameless' starts on Tuesday (26.02.13) on Channel 4 at 10pm.

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