Kavanagh QC is a British television series made by Central Television[1] for ITV between 1995 and 2001. It is often repeated on ITV3, and series 1–6 are available on Region 2 DVDs.

The series starred John Thaw as barrister James Kavanagh QC who comes from a working-class upbringing in BoltonGreater Manchester. 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 include 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 main plot often features 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 barrister 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 regular roles it included Daisy BatesCliff ParisiOliver Ford DaviesNicholas JonesLisa Harrow and Tom Brodie.


The series comprised 25 x 90 minute episodes and 2 x 2 hour episodes. See 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 Davies
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 Taylor Valerie Edmond
Eleanor Harker QC Geraldine James
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