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24 September 2014

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Cumbria on film

You are in: Cumbria > History > History features > Cumbria on film > Nature Boy (1999)

Still from Nature Boy

Nature Boy (1999)

Lee Ingleby takes the lead role in this 4-part drama shown in 2000. Written by Bryan Elsley, BBC Two announced Nature Boy as a "powerful and contemporary" drama, "poignant and very modern".

The 'boy' of the title is David - a 17-year-old living with foster parents and failing at school. He finds peace at a local nature reserve.

When he meets a young runaway, he decides to leave home to find his real father. His search takes him to an industrial town in the North - Barrow-in-Furness, Walney Island and North East towns provide the scenery.

David's involvement with environmental campaigners takes him back to the South East where a chance meeting leads him to his father, Steve. Along the way, David meets Jenny and Katie - the latter of which turns into more than just a stranger!

The Barrow Area Committe had some concerns when the programme was filmed in the town. Members of the committee thought it was "hard-hitting". They "felt it portrayed young people in a poor light" when they had "pride in the young people of the area". They were also worried that it would damage their campaign to raise the profile of foster carers in the county.

Nature Boy is atmospheric and powerful - some viewers were shocked by the scenes of violence and the language used.

Writer stays true to his roots

Before achieving writing success and fame, the writer of this series lived for many years in Staveley near Windermere in Cumbria. Bryan Elsley is now based in Bristol.

Bryan started his career as an artistic director with 'Pocket Theatre Cumbria' which was based at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre.

While working in Kendal, he topped up his earning by writing episodes for Casualty and London's Burning. Bryan's big break came when the BBC commissioned him to adapt The Crow Road, a novel by Iain Banks for screen.

Video and soundtrack

As far as we are aware, Nature Boy is no longer available on video or DVD to buy new - your best chances of finding copies now, might be through web sites such as Ebay or Amazon.

The theme tune is called Anywhere and was performed by Beth Orton.

last updated: 20/05/2008 at 15:48
created: 29/03/2006

You are in: Cumbria > History > History features > Cumbria on film > Nature Boy (1999)

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