When is Happy Valley series three on TV? Who is in the cast and what’s it about?

Sarah Lancashire will reportedly reprise her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood in the BBC1 crime drama

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

There has been much speculation over the future of BBC1’s Happy Valley, ever since series two came to a dramatic conclusion in 2016. Would writer Sally Wainwright give us a third series – and if so, when?


Wainwright has now confirmed that she’s planning a third series, telling RadioTimes.com that she’s “got lots of strands and story ideas.” But fans could still be in for quite a wait before Catherine Cawood returns to our screens.

Here’s everything you need to know about Happy Valley series three:

Is there a Happy Valley season 3? Will the drama return?

It sounds like the crime drama will return… but not for a while yet.

After Happy Valley season two aired on 2016, Wainwright revealed that she wouldn’t bring back police sergeant Catherine Cawood until she had time to write a good enough script.

“What we’ve decided is that because I’m so busy with other projects at the moment, I haven’t got time to sit down and come up with the stories,” she told BBC Breakfast, adding: “What I’d hate to do is do a third series and people say it wasn’t as good so I want time to go away and really come up with stories that I think are going to make a third series.”

Speaking at a press event in 2017, executive producer Nicola Shindler revealed that both the show’s writer and lead actress were “determined” to do a third season.

“We are working on a new idea for Sally for BBC1… She won’t write the [Happy Valley] scripts for some time but Sally’s determined to do it, Sarah’s determined to do it.”

Has Happy Valley been delayed?

In July 2019, Wainwright told RadioTimes.com that there was a very good reason for the long hiatus, as Becky’s son and Catherine’s grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) needs to get older before the next chapter in the series.

“Basically we’re kind of waiting for the little boy to grow up, so he’s more of a teenager than a child,” she said. And as for the long break between series two and three, “That’s always been the plan. We never intended to do it again straight away.”

For now, Gentleman Jack series two will take precedence – “But then I hope to get back onto Happy Valley three,” she confirmed.

And in February 2020, star Siobhan Finnernan hinted that the show could be on the way soon – claiming that Connah had been in touch with her over the festive period to say that he now looked like a fully-grown man!

When will Happy Valley air on BBC1? Is there a trailer?

No air date or trailer yet – but watch this space!

What is Happy Valley season three about?

Producer Nicola Shindler also suggested in 2017 that the third series of Happy Valley could centre on Catherine’s grandchild Ryan, conceived after Catherine’s daughter was raped by Royce (Grantchester’s James Norton).

“Sally is thinking about a story and the story she is thinking about literally needs time. Because if you look at the characters that are left, there is Sarah, there is James Norton and there is a young boy, who the minute he turns into a teenager it becomes a much more interesting story,” Shindler said.

“She doesn’t know what the story is yet. She is mulling it in her head but we are thinking about giving it a bit of space in story terms.”

Who is in the cast of Happy Valley?

MotherFatherSon and Last Tango in Halifax star Sarah Lancashire plays police sergeant Catherine Cawood, whose teenage daughter Becky died by suicide. She’s helping to raise her grandchild, Ryan, the son of Becky and her rapist Royce.

It’s not yet known who else from the original cast would reprise their roles.

How to watch Happy Valley online

There are two series of Happy Valley so far, and both are available in the UK on Netflix.


The show is not currently available on BBC iPlayer.