Happy Valley, the smash-hit BBC1 drama of last year, will see array of new faces for series two including a trio of Coronation Street stars – Julie Hesmondhalgh, Katherine Kelly and Amelia Bullmore.
Kelly (Corrie’s Becky McDonald, see main pic) and Hesmondhalgh (Weatherfield’s Hayley Cropper) have joined fellow Coronation Street alumnus Sarah Lancashire who reprises her role as police sergeant Catherine Cawood (below) in series two.
Another Corrie newcomer in the cast is Amelia Bullmore. The actress who played Weatherfield’s Steph Barnes, also worked on Sally Wainwright’s ITV drama Scott & Bailey.
Harry Potter actress Shirley Henderson and Cucumber actor Vincent Franklin have also been recruited for the new series. The second run will also see Kevin Doyle, who plays the hapless servant Molesley in Downton Abbey, playing new detective DS John Wadsworth.
James Norton’s psychotic Tommy Lee Royce reappears in the second run, this time with his character behind bars.
The Yorkshire-set crime drama was one of last year’s BBC1 hits, attracting 7.8 million viewers for its final episode which saw Catherine finally apprehending Tommy.
Series two will feature Catherine trying to track down another serial killer and in the process making a gruesome discovery that will have repercussions for her and her family, according to the BBC.
Meanwhile in prison, series one villain Tommy will form a bond with a mysterious female admirer played by Henderson.
Happy Valley started airing in April 2014,and went on to win a string of awards, including the Bafta television award for best drama series.
The drama was also a difficult watch at times and the violence attracted some criticism. One scene from series one saw Catherine brutally beaten by Tommy, while another featured a character being run over repeatedly with a car.
However Wainwright has promised lighter moments in series 2, revealing in a newspaper interview in December last year that she wants to introduce more “comic” scenes into the drama.
Writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright said: “I am thrilled to be embarking on a second series.
“We were delighted and overwhelmed with the viewers’ response to series one and it’s clear that there’s a huge appetite to see more of the characters and drama among the TV viewing public.”
Executive producer Nicola Shindler added: “Sally created a truly magnificent series with very real, complex characters, an engaging plot and breathtaking storylines. I am delighted and excited to be delving deeper into Catherine’s world in series two.”
Happy Valley series 2 will begin filming next week in Yorkshire and will be broadcast on BBC1 in 2016