Shameless plundered his bleak childhood for comedy. Now, he’s written a ‘funny forensics’ show, Wolfe, informed by his own bipolar diagnosis. The hit writer talks therapy, all-nighters and why his seven-year-old adores gore

‘I wanted to write a funny forensics show,” says Paul Abbott. “It’s never been done.” Nobody watched Silent Witness for the laughs. Bones only tried to be funny.

Wolfe is the award-winning 61-year-old TV writer’s attempt at defibrillating an ailing genre. When we first see our hero, Professor Wolfe Kinteh, wearing a hazmat suit, northwest England’s leading forensic pathologist is investigating a corpse found in the deboning machine at a meat processing plant. While most of the body has been minced, its legs rise comically in the air. Was it, Wolfe wonders, an accident or did someone push the start button while the engineer was greasing the cogs? Have a guess.

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