Student’s key role in Shameless

Alison Lyons
Alison Lyons

A CREATIVE college student got on to the set of one of the nation’s most popular television programmes – and even got to help with the stars’ costumes.

Alison Lyons, 21, spent two days working in the costume department of Channel 4 series Shameless.

She said: “I sat on set and had to watch the costumes closely for continuity.

“If a jacket was zipped up in the last take of a scene, it had to remain zipped up and even if it had been raining on a previous scene we had to make sure the clothes were wet to follow on filming.

“We took photos of each set so we knew it was absolutely spot on.”

The student at Cleveland College of Art and Design, in Hartlepool made the journey to Manchester, where the programme is filmed, and got an up-close view of how it all works on set of the BAFTA-winning comedy series.

Alison, 21, who lives in York Road, Hartlepool with her university friends, said: “It was a fantastic experience.

“I didn’t used to watch the show all of the time before, but I never miss it now.”

Due to the hectic nature of the filming, Alison said she didn’t get chance to have a conversation or get photos with any of the stars.

But she still got the opportunity to meet David Threlfall, who plays the part of the drunken Frank Gallager, Tina Malone, who plays Mimi Maguire, and Rebecca Atkinson, who plays Karen Maguire.

“It was so educational to get an up-close view of how the costume department works on a programme like Shameless,” said Alison, who is studying a BA Hons in Entertainment Design Crafts Programme.

The unique work placement opportunity for Alison came about when she got in touch with the costume designer of Shameless, Jo Slater, who herself used to be a student at Cleveland College of Art and Design.

Alison, who is originally from Newark-on-Trent, but moved to Hartlepool for her studies, said: “I had a good idea of how the costume department worked, but didn’t realise the attention to detail that goes into it.

“But I do have an eye for detail, and being on the work experience has made me realise that this is exactly what I want to do.

“The placement helped me so much and I hope from the time I have spent with the designers, they will keep me in mind for work when I qualify this year.”