| 14.9°C Dublin

Mrs Doyle returning to TV for Shameless fun

Father Ted star Pauline McLynn is returning to TV with the new series of the hit Channel Four show Shameless.

She will add to the Irish flavour of the black comedy by joining young actor Johnny Bennett, who will be reprising his role as Liam Gallagher.

Shameless takes a tongue-in-cheek look at life on an English estate.

McLynn -- of Mrs Doyle fame -- plays a librarian and Frank Gallagher's new girlfriend. Bennett (11) plays the youngest member of the Gallagher family.

The offbeat adult drama, which is set in the fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester, homes in on the antics of the dysfunctional Gallagher clan.

Created by Paul Abbott, the story is based on his days growing up in Burnley.

Channel Four plans to produce 22 episodes for series eight -- the largest number in the station's history.

"After eight years of working on this show, you'd think I'd be sick of the sight of it by now, but I am thrilled," said Paul Abbott.

The first episode of the new run can be seen on January 26.