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24 September 2014

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The Lakes

John Simm as Danny Kavanagh

The Lakes was filmed by BBC TV in 1998 around Patterdale and Glenridding.

The beautiful Cumbrian setting is in stark contrast with the dark content.

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The Broadcasting Standards Commission received 154 complaints about the series - they were all rejected.

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The first series saw Danny Kavanagh (John Simm), an unemployed man from Liverpool, move to Cumbria to work in a hotel.

He becomes tangled in the rivalries of the community and, when four girls die in a boating accident, the blame is laid with him. The Hikers’ Bar in Ullswater Hotel became part of the fictional hotel setting.

The Lakes was often controversial. The plot of the second series included violence, betrayal and a Roman Catholic priest's relationship with a parishioner.

More about The Lakes and The Lakes 2 »

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Please, please put me and my mother out of our misery. What was the song sung by Paul Copley on the shoreline when waiting fot the divers to recover the bodies of the girls drown in the lake? It was an old song and I am sure my grandmother used to sing it. Our sanity is at stake.

Many thanks.

Alison Brandon

I enjoyed this series. It was a must watch every week.

Can you could provide me with details of the name and the writer or the text of the poem that was used in the episode about the funeral for the two little girls who drowned.

Kind Regards

Jan Michael

I'm from Canada, and I got hooked on The Lakes when it came on late night TV on the CBC, I have been trying for years to find out about it; do you know if there is any way I can get it on DVD; I would like to see the rest and this is the first reference I've found on the show....


Maggie Currie -
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Would it please be possible for you to tell me the actual name of the hotel where the film was set?
Many thanks

Frank Hogdkiss

Hi! I just wanted to say that the BBC-dramaserie "The Lakes" is probably THE best one I've ever witnessed. The actors are awesome, the scenery is breathtaking, the soundtrack includes many of UK's top-act pop/rockbands at that time and Jimmy McGoverns manuscript blows me away! There are not "easy" topics that are dealt with but hey, life isn't always that simple, right?

A friend of mine got me the complete series on DVD when he visited London and UK last spring. And now, after watching it a second time, I must say...this is first class television, a marriage made in heaven! Do not hesitate to make a third season if possible.

Jonny Hjortfors - Stockholm, Sweden

I've just bought the complete series 1 and 2 and I'm loving watching it all again. It's even better the second time round.
By the way, the title music was by Cast. (And theres a lot of it throughout the episodes too.)
Josie Parker - UK

We love The Lakes, wish there were more of the same. The cast is great, love the chef, Lucy and Danny. We are watching it on BBC Canada from Sudbury, Ontario.
The scenery is beautiful, I would love to visit.
Joan - Ontario, Canada

Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying The Lakes. Fantastic stuff by the BBC and reminds me why the British take the Gold medal when making drama TV series. Thank goodness for BBC Canada so I can still watch such talented writing and acting! Cheers.
Sandie - Ottawa, Canada

Thanks for your reply and help. I checked the results from your searches and the band who did the title track was Cast. Thanks again.

Well Keith, doing an internet search, I found many songs with these lyrics.
It could be Ben Harper, Cast or Bad Religion. I'm pretty sure it's not Christina Agilera. Is it M-People? Or is it John Foxx? Or Donna Summer? Or D-Note? At a stretch it might be Henry Rollins Band...
Click the links to read the lyrics - the BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
My money's on Cast or Ben Harper.
Suzanne - BBC Cumbria

I thought The Lakes series was absolutely brilliant and one thing that I have been trying to trace is what I remember to be the title music.
I can remember it having the words "walk away, walk away, walk away" in the chorus. Can you let me know the title and artist of the track please, I have tried searching but no luck. Thanks

No problem! It seems the Ullswater Hotel changed its name a couple of years ago to "The Inn on the Lake". Their website is: - all details are on the site, but check when you phone that it is the place you're looking for.
Sooze - BBC Cumbria

I have been trying to find the hotel used in the BBC drama series The Lakes, I would love to take my wife there on a long weekend as she loved the programme. Can you help, I thought it was  the Ullswater Hotel in Glenridding but I can't find it listed anywhere. Please can you help?
C N - UK

The Lakes is the best series ever shown on television. I've seen it on BBC, Belgian Television and last winter for the third time on Dutch Television. Hope to see more of such series in the future.
Jeanine - Antwerp

I - like "Paul from Ambleside" - am from the Lake District. I also lived there when Jimmy McGovern (who wrote the series) lived and worked in Grasmere.
Having lived there all my life and unlike Paul (yes the area is small enough to know people by their first name and opinions) I am aware of all the incidents in the series occurring, even the deaths and affairs. They are based on real life.
And yes the high level of itinerate Scouse and Geordie workers in catering are low paid, often involved in crime but they add to the culture and diversity on offer to those who live in the Lake District.
I would love to see another series, and yes, most people from the Lakes, would agree (especially my family involved in catering) as it is a great advert for the area and helps give all the locals real identity.
Jake - Grasmere

I think there are six episodes in each series. There were only two series made. Click here to read a series summary.
Sooze - BBC Cumbria webteam

Would you tell me how many episodes did you make of The Lakes Part 1 and Part 2? Is there a Part 3? I'm watching it on local CBC-TV in Vancouver. Thanks. Ron - Vancouver, Canada

Hi from Canada. They've only aired one episode of The Lakes here. I'm totally hooked. From what I've seen, the show is eerie, like a British version of David Lynch's Twin Peaks. I love what I've seen so far.
Heather - Calgary

Hello from Canada!
The CBC is currently broadcasting The Lakes.
I saw the first episode last night.  From it's frequent references to past events and from what I am a reading about the series on your website, I think this must be the beginning of the 2nd series.  The episode begins with the teacher murdering his wife after arguing about her infidelity and then having the unexpected visit by a local PC.  It's caught my interest.
How many episodes are there in the 2nd series? I've visited the Lake District a number of years ago with my mother. We drove south from Carlisle and passed through Penrith so we must certainly have seen Ullswater. I remember picnicing on the shores of Lake Windermere and visiting Wordsworth's house. Everything seemed so quite and peaceful. Had we only known...
David - North Vancouver, British Columbia

Are you watching the series in Canada? Write and tell us what you think! Have you been to Cumbria? Has the series changed your opinion of our county? Whatever your views, email us:
Suzanne - BBC Cumbria

It was an enjoyable show but I don't think it was anywhere near realistic but I guess that does not matter too much. What I usually dislike about dramas set in real locations is the inaccuracies that anyone who is familiar with the place will spot straight away.
There were a few in The Lakes - a couple I remember are firstly a National Express coach running to Glenridding and Patterdale because they don't really and a character that lives in Glenridding choosing to get off at Patterdale instead. Yes I know most faults are minor like I have mentioned but they are faults that can be avoided and they make the show look amateurish.
Mark - Stockton

I would really love to see The Lakes repeated on TV. I loved the series, looked forward to each new episode, is there any chance of it being repeated? I would rate it alongside the series Teachers running at the moment.
Adam C - UK

Was there ever a third series of The Lakes made? If so, will it be seen in Australia?
Mary Keith - Australia

The Lakes aired on Australian TV last year or the one before. Even my Aussie wife liked the show - people from other parts of the world can see a special part of our country which they wouldn't normally see! (Due to thinking that London is it!) OK the show was over dramatized but that's showbiz. You have to have Wow power to keep audiences coming back etc.
Steve Dickinson - Gold Coast Australia

Life in Cumbria is nothing like The Lakes. It's given our county a bad reputation.
Paul - Ambleside

It's set in Cumbria and it's not about sheep! Thank goodness a TV drama showed the UK that life here can be just as harsh and scandalous as in a city.
Steve - Brampton

Danny carries the girl's body from the lake.
Danny carries a girl's body from the lake.

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