26 year-old Jody Latham is best known for his role as jack the lad scally-boy Lip in C4's acclaimed comedy drama series"Shameless" but he's no new kid on the block and has been knocking around on UK television. Back in 1998 he had a small role in the realistic police drama "The Cops" for the BBC when he was sixteen. After that roles followed in the usual bland Brit TV fare beloved by mothers up and down the country like "Casualty," "Holby City" and "Heartbeat."

Born in Burnley, Lancashire, Jody comes from a close family, not unlike that of the Gallagher's and their neighbours so lovingly portrayed in "Shameless." Indeed it seems like Paul Abbots semi autobiographical series also has links with Jody's own life. As he has said: "The house I grew up in was a real homely home in a little village where everybody knew everybody. My dad built the house. I helped him, reluctantly. I was a teenager so I should've been hanging around town looking hard. We had a big comfy couch for us all to crash out on, dogs and a big garden. Everyone used to come over. Neighbours never had to knock; the door was always open. It was busy and noisy."

He's been somewhat reluctant to accept his status as a sex symbol among both women and gay men. But hasn't been shy in coming forward by appearing wearing very little in Gay mag Attitude and as a centre fold in British Cosmopolitan. He was even voted 84th sexiest man in the world by readers on New Woman magazine. "..it can be quite daunting but it's all part of the job - and I'm quite a pleasant person, I'm a chit-chatty sort of guy anyway, so I just go along with it"

Starring along side Bob Hoskins in last years "Ruby Blue" and with his final season of "Shameless" as Lip under his belt Perhaps it's time for Jody to move on to bigger things? "As an actor you want to be as versatile as possible and I want to try different things… I want to do something more challenging now, to be someone different."

And that he has, playing petty thief in ITV's "The Fixer" and as associate producer and part player in the gritty new crime film "Act of Grace" directed by "Life on Mars" very own Phylis Dobbs aka actress Noreen Kershaw.

So with things on the climb for Jody it looks like the last ten years have just been a warm up, shortly they'll be little else to do but to pay attention to this guys rising star as his career goes from strength to strength.

This post is an expaned and revised piece previously posted on my old blog Current Obsessions

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