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Kavanagh QC is a Britishmarker television series made by Carlton Television for ITV between 1995 and 2001. It is has been shown on ITV3 as recently as mid-2008; series 1–5 are available on Region 2 DVDs (except for Series 4 episodes 7 and 8).

The series starred John Thaw as a barrister James Kavanagh QC who comes from a working-class upbringing in Bolton, Lancashire. This is only discovered in later episodes as his parents' health deteriorates and through an exchange with a colleague who presumed that Kavanagh was actually a Yorkshireman. The series dealt with his battles in the courtroom as well as his domestic dramas which includes the death of his devoted and affectionate wife. Later he begins dating a fellow barrister.

In court Kavanagh is usually seen to be defending a client who seems likely to be convicted until a twist in the case occurs, but occasionally Kavanagh is seen in a prosecuting role. The show generally had a left-wing / progressive slant, and the main plot often featured Kavanagh confronting cases with a subtext of racism, sexism or other prejudice. In sub-plots comedy came from the pomposity and self-absorption of Jeremy a posh barristers in chambers. Kavanagh will not stand for injustice and is never bullied by threats or bribes from those whom he is up against in the courtroom.

In cameos and regular roles, it included Daisy Bates, Cliff Parisi, Oliver Ford Davies, Nicholas Jones, Lisa Harrow and Tom Brodie.

See also list of Kavanagh QC episodes.


Character Actor
James Kavanagh QC John Thaw
Lizzie Kavanagh Lisa Harrow
Julia Piper Anna Chancellor
Peter Foxcott QC Oliver Ford Davis
Jeremy Aldermarten QC Nicholas Jones
Tom Buckley Cliff Parisi
Kate Kavanagh Daisy Bates
Matt Kavanagh Tom Brodie
Alex Wilson Jenny Jules
Helen Ames Arkie Whiteley
Emma Taylow Valerie Redmond
Eleanor Harker QC Geraldine James


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