Shameless star David Threlfall has said that the drama is still popular because it mirrors modern life.

The 55-year-old actor, who plays Frank Gallagher in the Channel 4 series, said he believes the shambolic Mancunian family are so popular because they reach out to the public.

David told The Daily Mirror: “Frank’s plight is very pertinent. The kind of schemes Frank gets up to can be found everywhere these days. He always manages to scrape by somehow or other.”

“What could be more relevant in the current climate? Ironically the financial crisis means that people might stay in more to watch how Frank tries to get out of it.”

Frank’s trademark drunken rants and his madcap schemes – one of which includes faking his own death to avoid the bailiffs – have prompted some internet users to start a Facebook group called ‘Frank Gallagher for Prime Minister’.

David said that Frank’s antics have made him a bit of a hero.

He said: “In this downturn, as he always does, Frank sets himself up as the spokesman for the common man and takes on the mantle of what needs to be said.”

Born in the Burnage area of Manchester, David has never lost touch with his roots – and he’s quick to dispel the idea of him as a ‘celebrity’.

“I can’t stand the word ‘celebrity’,” he said. “That’s not what I’m about at all. I’m just an actor who likes dressing up and pretending.”

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