Cause of Death: new Channel 5 series looks at Senior Coroner Dr James Adeley and his work across Lancashire

A Lancashire coroner and his team across Preston and Blackburn are set to feature in a new Channel 5 series highlighting the work they carry out.
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Senior Coroner Dr James Adeley and his teams at Royal Preston and Royal Blackburn Hospitals return with a new series of Channel 5’s ‘Cause of Death’.

Dr Adeley, Lancashire’s senior coroner, previously featured in the Cause of Death documentary series last year.

What do coroners do?

Dr James Adeley, Lancashire and Blackburn's senior coroner. Photo: Lee Brown / Channel 5 TelevisionDr James Adeley, Lancashire and Blackburn's senior coroner. Photo: Lee Brown / Channel 5 Television
Dr James Adeley, Lancashire and Blackburn's senior coroner. Photo: Lee Brown / Channel 5 Television
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Coroners operate within a legal framework and have a duty to investigate all deaths where the cause is unknown, as well as violent or unnatural deaths and deaths that occur in custody.

The coroner investigates in order to establish who, where and when a person died – and how.

What is Cause of Death about?

The show lifts the lid on the largely hidden world of how unexplained or suspicious deaths are investigated.

Filmed over the course of six months, the programmes are based on unprecedented access to pathologists performing post-mortems, radiologists conducting and analysing scans, staff at both the Royal Preston Hospital and Royal Blackburn Hospital, as well as officers at Lancashire Police.

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Each stand-alone episode explores multiple stories, focusing on the families at the heart of these tales. The series provides an insightful narrative of the coroner and the specialised officers working with grieving relatives.

When can you catch it?

The four part series will start at 9pm on Wednesday, November 8.

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What will the show be looking at?

The new series begins with the case of Eleanor, a popular older lady who passes away weeks after she is physically attacked in a care home. Dr Adeley and his team, along with Lancashire Police, must piece together the puzzle to establish a cause of death.

In a seperate incident, a worried neighbour calls police when a man is found dead in his home. With no clues to what happened and no next of kin, can the Coroner’s officers solve the riddle of his untimely death?

What has been said about the show before?

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Last year, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, Councillor Peter Buckley – who is responsible for the coroners service in the area – said the documentary was “groundbreaking”.

Cllr Buckley said: “I am very proud that Lancashire County Council, through our coroner’s office and working alongside our colleagues in the NHS and police, were able to provide access to an area of public service that has never been seen by the public before.

“As well as being an informative and important piece of public service broadcasting, each film highlights individual human stories that are both moving and heart-breaking.

“I am extremely grateful to the families of those people featured for allowing the documentary makers to tell their loved ones’ stories.”