With Happy Valley coming to an end, we have a feeling that when all's said and done people won't be left talking about the shocking twists and turns, but instead about the stellar performance from Sarah Lancashire.

Of course, for those who know Lancashire's previous work, this isn't a surprise - she has routinely proven herself to be a hugely impressive actor, able to move between hilarious and heartbreaking at the drop of a hat.

Lancashire was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1964, to father Geoffrey and mother Hilda. Geoffrey was a television scriptwriter, particularly known for his work on Coronation Street. She attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 1986.

Outside of Happy Valley, Lancashire is perhaps best known for her role in Last Tango in Halifax, another series from Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright in which she played Caroline, a role for which she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

However, she has also made her name in long-running shows including Coronation Street and Doctor Who, the latter of which she appeared in for one episode as a guest star, as well as acclaimed dramas including Julia, The Paradise and MotherFatherSon.

She also narrated the popular BBC period drama Lark Rise to Candleford, playing an adult version of Olivia Hallinan's character Laura Timmins.

While Lancashire is mainly known for her TV work, that hasn't stopped her from putting in some phenomenal performances in high-profile British films across the years.

These have included the Richard Curtis/Danny Boyle romantic comedy Yesterday, the Dad's Army reboot film and Prime Video's adaptation of theatre hit Everybody's Talking About Jamie.

She also appeared in And When Did You Last See Your Father?, the deeply moving drama film starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth.

Lancashire has said she doesn't enjoy being recognised in public, and has said: "I've learnt that it's possible to be as anonymous as you want. It's a choice, and I've become very, very good at being anonymous."

If you're looking to catch up on some of Sarah Lancashire's films and TV shows, then see below for how you can watch the best performances she's given throughout her career.

Best Sarah Lancashire films and TV series to watch

Showing 1 to 16 of 16 results

  • Happy Valley

    • 2014
    • Drama
    • Crime/detective
    • 15

    Summary:

    Crime drama by Sally Wainwright, with Sarah Lancashire as a police sergeant in the Yorkshire valleys battling her own demons when she becomes involved in the hunt for a kidnapped girl.

    How to watch
  • Kiri

    • 2018
    • Mystery
    • Drama
    • 15

    Summary:

    A social worker is caught up in a police investigation when a young girl goes missing on one of her supervised visits. Four-part drama, starring Sarah Lancashire

    How to watch
  • The Accident

    • 2019
    • Drama
    • 15

    Summary:

    Drama about the residents of a fictional Welsh town coming to terms with an explosion on a construction site that kills several teenagers. Sarah Lancashire stars

    How to watch
  • Rose and Maloney

    • 2002
    • Crime/detective
    • Drama

    Summary:

    Cases of a woman and her male assistant who work for the fictional CJRA (Criminal Justice Review Agency), an organization which seeks out miscarriages of justice.

    How to watch
  • Everybody's Talking about Jamie

    • Comedy
    • Musical
    • 2020
    • Jonathan Butterell
    • 115 mins
    • 12A

    Summary:

    Musical based on a true story, starring Max Harwood. Sheffield teenager Jamie longs to go to his school prom in drag. While he faces opposition from his disapproving teacher and mocking schoolmates, Jamie is backed by his supportive mum Margaret, his best friend Pritti and his mentor Hugo, a veteran drag artiste.

    How to watch
  • Last Tango in Halifax

    • 2012
    • Drama
    • Comedy
    • PG

    Summary:

    Sally Wainwright's comedy drama with Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid. Old friends Celia Dawson and Alan Buttershaw fall in love again when they are reunited over the internet after 60 years.

    How to watch
  • Where the Heart Is

    • 1997
    • Drama
    • PG

    Summary:

    Drama about community nurses living and working at a local health centre in a small Yorkshire town. Starring Lesley Dunlop and Christian Cooke

    How to watch
  • Julia

    • 2022
    • Drama

    Summary:

    Drama inspired by Julia Child's extraordinary life and her long-running television series, The French Chef. Starring Sarah Lancashire and David Hyde Pierce

    How to watch
  • Dad's Army

    • Comedy
    • War
    • 2016
    • Oliver Parker
    • 95 mins
    • PG

    Summary:

    Wartime comedy based on the BBC TV sitcom, starring Toby Jones, Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones. England, 1944: when a glamorous reporter is sent to profile the Home Guard of Walmington-on-Sea, it's not long before romance rears its head. Meanwhile, MI5 has reason to believe a German spy is operating in the town...

    How to watch
  • The Paradise

    • 2012
    • Drama
    • PG

    Summary:

    'The Paradise' is a costume drama set in a Victorian city in the north of England. It tells the story of a love affair set against the backdrop of The Paradise, the country's first department store. Denise Lovett (Joanna Vanderham) takes a job at the store and is soon seen by its owner, John Moray (Emun Elliott), as a rising star, much to the annoyance of head of ladieswear Miss Audrey (Sarah Lancashire). In pursuit of Moray's affections is the upper class daughter of a rich banker, Katherine (Elaine Cassidy), who is determined to get what she wants. It premiered on BBC One in 2012.

    How to watch
  • Yesterday

    • Comedy
    • Fantasy
    • 2019
    • Danny Boyle
    • 111 mins
    • 12

    Summary:

    Fantasy comedy starring Himesh Patel and Lily James. Cycling home after a gig, aspiring musician Jack is hit by a bus during a strange power cut. He wakes up to find himself in a world where nobody has heard of the Beatles, so takes advantage of this by passing their songs off as his own. Success soon comes his way, but it threatens to come between him and his manager and best friend, Ellie.

    How to watch
  • Lark Rise to Candleford

    • 2008
    • Drama
    • Romance
    • PG

    Summary:

    Adaptation of the classic memoir written by Bill Gallagher. Olivia Hallinan plays Laura, the character based on author Flora Thompson whose reminiscences of life in Victorian Oxfordshire make up these tales. The cast includes Julia Sawalha, Brendan Coyle and Claudie Blakley

    How to watch
  • MotherFatherSon

    • 2019
    • Thriller
    • Drama
    • 15

    Summary:

    A political thriller that sits at the intersections of police, politics and the press, and is as much a family saga as it is a savage drama. Richard Gere stars.

    How to watch
  • Doctor Who (1963+)

    • 1963
    • Drama
    • Sci-fi
    • PG

    Summary:

    Sci-fi drama following the adventures of a Time Lord and his time-travelling companion as they explore the universe in his Tardis. William Hartnell (1963-66) was the first Doctor to pilot the Tardis, taking it from a junkyard at 76 Totter's Lane into the realms of the fourth dimension. He was succeeded by Patrick Troughton (1966-69), Jon Pertwee (1970-74), Tom Baker (1974-81), Peter Davison (1981-84), Colin Baker (1984-86) and Sylvester McCoy (1987-89, 1996). The series was axed in 1989. A TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Doctor appeared in 1996, but it wasn't until 2005 that a revamped version materialised on BBC One with Christopher Eccleston (2005) at the controls of the Tardis. He was followed by David Tennant (2005-10), Matt Smith (2010-13) and Peter Capaldi (2013-). The world's most famous Time Lord has been accompanied by a variety of young companions and has battled many foes, most famously the Daleks, Cybermen and the Master. 'Doctor Who' premiered on BBC One in November 1963.

    How to watch
  • And When Did You Last See Your Father?

    • Drama
    • 2007
    • Anand Tucker
    • 88 mins
    • 12A

    Summary:

    Adaptation of Blake Morrison's memoirs about his turbulent relationship with his father, starring Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent. Arthur Morrison has a terminal illness and is near death, prompting his son Blake to attempt a reconciliation with the man who has dominated his life.

    How to watch
See more Best Sarah Lancashire TV shows and films
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