Fans of BBC One's Happy Valley were thrilled last year when the crime drama was confirmed to return for a third and final season – and although it's been a while since we last checked in Catherine Cawood, the show's creator has revealed that was all part of the plan.


Sally Wainwright, who created the BBC drama, has teased Happy Valley's upcoming third season, revealing that it picks up "seven years on" from season 2.

Speaking to in an exclusive interview, Wainwright confirmed that filming had wrapped on the new episodes.

Happy Valley
Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley BBC

"I think it's going to be good. I think it's going to be exciting," she said. "We've got some very good stories."

She added: "Everyone's back – all the characters you'd expect to see are back. We're seven years on. The plan was to wait for Ryan to be older so that he can make his own choices about whether he wants to have contact with his dad or not. So it really explores that."

More like this

Filming for season 3 began in January, with Sarah Lancashire reprising her lead role alongside White House Farm's Mark Stanley and All Creatures Great and Small's Mollie Winnard, who play "pivotal roles" in the upcoming episodes.

The BAFTA-winning show stars Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood – a West Yorkshire-based police officer living with her sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) and raising her grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah) after her daughter Becky was driven to suicide by Ryan's father Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) eight years prior.

Season 2 ends with Royce, who is banned from communicating with Ryan, sending letters to his son via various women he has promised to marry, including Frances Drummond (Shirley Henderson), a woman pretending to be a teaching assistant in order to get to close to Ryan as a result of her infatuation with Royce.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Drama hub.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.