Where the Heart Is (1997 TV series)

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This article is about the 1997 TV series. For other uses, see Where the Heart Is.
Where the Heart Is
Genre Family drama
Created by Vicky Featherstone
Ashley Pharoah
Starring the cast
Opening theme Prefab Sprout – "Where the Heart Is"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 110
Producer(s) United Productions (later Granada) with:
Anglia Television (1997–2001)
Meridian Broadcasting (2002—2005)
Granada Television (2006)
Running time 60 minutes
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3, 16:9
Original release 6 April 1997 – 10 September 2006

Where the Heart Is is a British television family drama series set in the fictional Yorkshire town of Skelthwaite. First shown in 1997, it was created by Ashley Pharoah and Vicky Featherstone and focuses on the professional and personal lives of the district nurses who work in the town. The original leads were Sarah Lancashire and Pam Ferris, who played sisters-in-law and colleagues at the Skelthwaite Health Centre. Both actresses had left the series by 2000, however, the format of at least two female leads continued with various actresses until the show's end. A typical episode would focus on one or two medical storylines interwoven with personal stories featuring one or both nurses.

One of ITV's longest-running shows, Where the Heart Is was known for being what has been described as a haven for former soap stars, including Lancashire, Philip Middlemiss, Samantha Giles, Kerrie Taylor, Brian Capron and Shobna Gulati. In October 2006, the series was cancelled after nine years, despite viewing figures of well over 7 million.[1]

The theme song "Where the Heart is" was performed by Prefab Sprout (written and sung by Paddy McAloon). It was released as a single and appears on the band's 38 Carat Collection.

The programme is now repeated on ITV3.


The show followed the lives of the people of Skelthwaite, a fictional small Yorkshire town; particularly the work of the district nurses at the town's health centre. It originally focused on the extended Snow and Goddard family — sisters-in-law and close friends Peggy Snow (Ferris) and Ruth Goddard (Lancashire) worked together as district nurses, while Ruth's husband and Peggy's younger brother Simon (Thomas Craig) was the town's main employer through his paper products factory. Peggy's husband Vic (Tony Haygarth) and her children Stephen and Lucy provided family-focused storylines which sat alongside the medical-based plots.

The programme underwent major changes at the end of series three and beginning of series four, with first Lancashire and then Ferris departing. Ruth and Simon split, with Ruth moving to Australia and Peggy tragically dying following a road accident involving a horse which also left her daughter Lucy fighting for her life. Storylines continued to focus on the rest of the family, with Simon and Vic adjusting to life as single men (and for Vic, as a single father), whilst old friends Anna Kirkwall (Lesley Dunlop) and Karen Buckley (Leslie Ash) took over at the health centre. Anna began a romance with Simon, only for her to reject him just before their wedding day, knowing that he wanted to be with Ruth and Alfie in Australia, whilst Karen's marriage to David (Philip Middlemiss) crumbled when she chose to focus on helping her long-lost son recover from his drug addiction (leading to Ash's departure from the series in 2003). Anna and David later became a couple, married and remained the show's lead characters for the rest of its run. Several other nurses would work alongside Anna during this time, most notably Sally Boothe (Samantha Giles), whose family became the focus of many of the non-medical storylines after the remaining members of the Snow family departed in 2002. In an echo of the Snow family's development, Sally was also killed off, with later storylines focusing on her family's attempts to cope without her.

Over the years the cast was expanded and the show became more of an ensemble drama, with typically three major nurse characters at any one time alongside other townsfolk (typically workers at Goddard's Paper Products and their families).


The series was filmed in the Colne and Holme valleys of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire using the real life villages of Marsden, Slaithwaite and Meltham for many of the external shots. The first series was mostly filmed in Slaithwaite, with some exterior shots filmed in the village of Baildon, but from series 2 onwards, Marsden was used as the principal filming location.


Final cast[edit]

Notable ex-cast members[edit]


Series One (1997)[edit]

  1. "Skelthwaite" (6 Apr 1997)
  2. "Things Fall Apart" (13 Apr 1997)
  3. "Summoned by Bells" (20 Apr 1997)
  4. "A Place in the World" (27 Apr 1997)
  5. "King Walter" (4 May 1997)
  6. "Dream" (11 May 1997)

Series Two (1998)[edit]

  1. "The Final Curtain" (19 Apr 1998)
  2. "The Healing Game" (26 Apr 1998)
  3. "Fresh" (3 May 1998)
  4. "Gone Fishing" (10 May 1998)
  5. "Darkness Follows" (17 May 1998)
  6. "Family Matters" (24 May 1998)
  7. "Icepops" (31 May 1998)
  8. "No Place Like Home" (7 Jun 1998)
  9. "She Goes On" (21 Jun 1998)
  10. "Love" (5 Jul 1998)

Series Three (1999)[edit]

  1. "Expansions" (18 Apr 1999)
  2. "Learning the Game" (25 Apr 1999)
  3. "Flesh and Blood" (2 May 1999)
  4. "Letting Go" (9 May 1999)
  5. "Moving On" (16 May 1999)
  6. "Home" (23 May 1999)
  7. "Reach for the Stars" (30 May 1999)
  8. "New Moon Arising" (6 Jun 1999)
  9. "Not My Brother" (20 Jun 1999)
  10. "A Special Language" (27 Jun 1999)
  11. "A Higher Duty" (4 Jul 1999)
  12. "Runaway" (11 Jul 1999)
  13. "Union" (18 Jul 1999)
  14. "The Letter" (25 Jul 1999)

Series Four (2000)[edit]

  1. "Breaking the Ice" (30 Apr 2000)
  2. "No Regrets" (7 May 2000)
  3. "The Dead Zone" (14 May 2000)
  4. "Shifting Sands" (21 May 2000)
  5. "Visiting Rights" (28 May 2000)
  6. "The Leaving Party" (4 Jun 2000)
  7. "A Foreign Field" (11 Jun 2000)
  8. "Unforgettable" (9 Jul 2000)
  9. "A Good Day" (16 Jul 2000)
  10. "Friends in Need" (23 Jul 2000)
  11. "Idle Hands" (30 Jul 2000)
  12. "Over the Rainbow" (6 Aug 2000)
  13. "Modern Love" (13 Aug 2000)
  14. "Legacy" (20 Aug 2000)
  15. "Getting Better" (27 Aug 2000)
  16. "The Field" (3 Sep 2000)

Series Five (2001)[edit]

  1. "Happiness" (22 Apr 2001)
  2. "Runaways" (29 Apr 2001)
  3. "Sanctuary" (6 May 2001)
  4. "Choices" (13 May 2001)
  5. "The Ties That Bind" (20 May 2001)
  6. "Home to Roost" (27 May 2001)
  7. "Faith" (3 Jun 2001)
  8. "Pound of Flesh" (17 Jun 2001)
  9. "Damage" (24 Jun 2001)
  10. "Too Much Too Young" (1 Jul 2001)
  11. "Temptation" (8 Jul 2001)
  12. "As Time Goes By" (15 Jul 2001)
  13. "Declaration" (22 Jul 2001)
  14. "Sticks and Stones" (29 Jul 2001)
  15. "Cats and Dogs" (5 Aug 2001)
  16. "The Team" (12 Aug 2001)

Series Six (2002)[edit]

  1. "[06x01] No Turning Back 48m

[06x02] Relative Strangers 48m

[06x03] Happy Returns 48m

[06x04] TITLE

[06x05] TITLE

[06x06] United We Stand 48m

[06x07] Hold My Hand 48m

[06x08] Don't Let Go 47m

[06x09] Never Alone 48m

[06x10] TITLE

[06x11] TITLE

[06x12] Extra Time 48m

Series 7

[07x01] My Way 49m

[07x02] The Games We Play

[07x03] The Need Of You 49m

[07x04] Love Hurts

[07x05] Not Waving But Drowning 49m

[07x06] A Time To Dance 49m

[07x07] Coming Home 48m

[07x08] Mister And Missus 48m

Series 8

[08x01] Bowl Of Cherries< 46mbr />

[08x02] TITLE

[08x03] Moon River 47m

[08x04] The Games We Play 47m

[08x05] Little Boy Blue 47m

[08x06] Skin Deep 47m

[08x07] Body And Soul 47m

[08x08] Never Can Say Goodbye 47m

Series 9

[09x01] Care 47m

[09x02] TITLE

[09x03] Stamp Of Approval 47m

[09x04] Sisters Under The Skin 47m

[09x05] Together 47m

[09x06] Legacy 48m

[09x07] Brief Encounters 47m

[09x08] Peaches And Cream 47m

[09x09] So Long 47m

[09x10] In A Prefect World 47m

Series 10

[10x01] RSVP 45m

[10x02] Greater Love 46m

[10x03] Home Grown 46m

[10x04] Walk Of Faith 46m

[10x05] TITLE

[10x06] Finding Heaven 46m

[10x07] Don't Look Back In Anger 46m

[10x08] Flesh And Blood 46m

[10x09] And On The Way I Dropped It 46m

DVD release[edit]

DVDs of the series in the UK are listed below, released by Network DVD. So far Series 1, 2, 3 and 4 have been released.

DVD Season Ep # Original aired Region 2 (UK)
Series 1 6 6 April – 11 May 1997 27 March 2006[2]
Series 2 10 19 April – 5 July 1998 21 May 2012[3]
Series 3 14 18 April – 25 July 1999 6 May 2013 [4]
Series 4 16 30 April – 3 September 2000 10 March 2014[5]
Series 5 16 22 April – 12 August 2001 TBA
Series 6 12 21 April – 7 July 2002 TBA
Series 7 9 6 July – 23 December 2003 TBA
Series 8 8 11 July – 29 August 2004 TBA
Series 9 10 26 June – 28 August 2005 TBA
Series 10 9 16 July – 10 September 2006 TBA


External links[edit]