|RISING Scots television star James McAvoy has begun an amazing real-life romance
with his on-screen co-star. McAvoy, 23, is dating Anne-Marie Duff, the actress
who plays steamy love scenes with him in the hit Channel 4 show Shameless.
SHAMELESS JAMES BEDS SCREEN LOVER - The Mirror - February 15, 2004
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Last night his ex-lover and girlfriend for six years was "devastated"
at the news.
Toyboy McAvoy and Duff, who at 33 is nine years older than him, fell for each
other while filming the racy new Tuesday night series. She plays a 20-year-old
in the show, which is a loves-and-lives portrait of a raucous Manchester family.
Among the pair's scenes is a romp where they make love on the kitchen floor
- and the furniture shakes.
Anne-Marie this week confirmed the pair are an item, but they had made a pact
not to talk about it. She said : Yes, it's true, can you see how much I'm blushing?
And she added : Your heart, it's a very fragile muscle. You have to take care
The news comes as a bitter blow to pretty 21-year-old Emma Neilson (stage name:
Emma King) who began dating James when she was 16. Four months ago, he left
her inconsolable when he dumped her. Last night a close friend of Emma told
the Irish Sunday Mirror: She won't speak to him and is still really upset -
raging about the whole thing.
She was absolutely distraught and she's going to be devastated to hear that
he has found someone else so quickly. It's a blow she could do without. She's
just in the final stages of her course at the London College of Speech and Drama.
They were together for a long time. It was James who ended things and she feels
she's never had a proper explanation. His career has really taken off and and
it doesn't help her that he is never off the television screen.
Posters of him are even plastered all over the London underground which makes
it difficult for her to move on. James, 24, from Drumchapel in Glasgow, said
recently of his love scenes with Anne-Marie : It was terrifying. I've never
done a sex scene before. In the end I was a bit shocked about how realistic
it looks. I've never had that violent and kind of clumsy sex so it's quite funny
to see myself do that. It was a relief - we just giggled and tried to make them
look as convincing as possible.
Despite the embarrassment, James said his on-screen relationship with Anne-Marie
was the best he'd ever had with a fellow actor. And now the chemistry has translated
into real-life romance. James said: Nudity isn't a problem for me, but that
was probably the best on-screen relationship I have ever had with someone. I'd
love to work with Anne-Marie again. She is just unbelievable. James split with
Emma in october after six years together. At that time, he said : I really can’t
talk about this now – it’s too close. This is really a hard time
Shortly after, he was voted ahead of Prince William and and Glasgow singer
Darius in a poll of most-fancied single men. Shameless is the latest high-profile
role for James, fast becoming one of the best-recognised faces in British acting.
He was a big hit last year in BBC1 thriller State of Play in which he played
a a news reporter.
Last month the Sunday Mirror revealed how James's 46-year-old dad - also James
- prayed that his son would speak to him again after after 12 years of non-contact.
James fell out with his dad after he and his mum split when he was seven.
He was brought up by his grandparents, who lived nearby; but even when the
pair passed each other near their homes in Drumchapel, they didn't speak. James
snr told the Sunday Mirror how he blamed himself for the fall-out: When I used
to see him in the street before he moved to London he would just ignore me.
As a father, that is difficult to cope with – but I blame myself for
what has happened, not James. Everything he has achieved in his life he has
done through his own hard work. Before he went to drama school he worked in
the bakery at Sainsbury's. Last night James was unavailable for comment.