Paul Abbot Coventry Conversation

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Articles, final folio

Paul Abbot, a famous TV writer and the driving force behind the hugely successful channel 4 comedy shameless and now its American spin-off. When Paul Abbot was announced as part of the line-up for this years Coventry Conversations there was predictable hubbub of excitement. Even for those who do not watch shameless, like me, it was an exciting prospect to have one of the country’s foremost script writers coming to our very lecture halls to talk to us about what his life is like and how he came to become of the country’s most exciting writers.

Beginning from an early age Paul took us from his childhood growing up in a council estate much like the one in his famous show. From here Abbot takes his through to his current success and how such a great blessing can often be a huge curse on a writer.

And so finally on to his most recent success in the field of Shameless. An American company has recently bought the rights to the Shameless name and an American version is currently in production. Rather than the expected deep south setting the American version is set in a residential area deep in the heart of Chicago. Paul divulged that the American company who won the rights were not the highest bidders but were instead chosen because they wished to move away from the deep south stereotypical setting. Those of us lucky enough to have a seat in this talk were treated to a brief preview of this new Americanised version of a British classic, and Abbot has clearly made the right choice when he made sure the American version avoided the stereotypical southern setting to create a more real impression of the poverty in Northern America.

Paul Abbot was a whirlwind of energy and was happy to give the room any piece of advice he could think of. He is clearly enthusiastic about what he does and I have no doubt that his passion has rubbed off on numerous people and that many of them are even know holed up in their rooms away from friends and family with smoke spewing from their racing pens as many attempt to make the next big ‘hit’.

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