BBC One's Happy Valley reached a dramatic conclusion on Sunday night, ending on a (quite literally) fiery showdown between Catherine and Tommy Lee Royce – although creator Sally Wainwright has revealed that fans have star Sarah Lancashire to thank in part for the final episode.


Speaking to Newsnight on Monday, the writer revealed that Lancashire "wasn't happy" with her first draft of the show's ending and made a few changes to it.

"I have Sarah to thank for that ending in many ways because I wrote the first draft and everybody seemed quite happy with it and then she made it clear that she wasn’t happy with it," Wainwright explained.

She added that during Christmas 2021, Lancashire visited her at home to chat about the script. "She came up to my house and she spent all day talking about it and she gave me some really good notes. So everything got pushed a bit further in that episode and it was all thanks to Sarah."

Wainwright continued: "It was a great privilege to have the opinion of someone who knew the scripts almost better than I do because she puts so much into it, so much thought into it.

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"So it was a really fabulous conversation... it's nice that we worked it through together – her performance is just off the scale, isn't it?"

The Happy Valley finale aired on Sunday night, with Catherine coming face-to-face with fugitive Tommy Lee Royce before his gruesome death.

Meanwhile, DSU Andy Shepherd (Vincent Franklin) revealed to Catherine that Rob Hepworth was eventually arrested for possessing indecent images of students on his phone, while Catherine discovered that it had been Faisal Bhatti (Amit Shah) who was supplying Joanna with illegal diazepam – hopefully leading to his arrest for her murder.

Speaking about the show's ending, star Rhys Connah – who played Ryan – spoke about the choice his character had to make after being invited abroad by Tommy.

"It's a vital choice because Catherine's always been worried about Ryan turning into his dad. And for Ryan, making a choice to go with Tommy would essentially be choosing to turn into his dad," he said.

"But the fact that he chose Catherine is what makes his character come full circle. He proves that he isn't like Tommy, that he isn’t going to be a bad person, and that he can be a good person when a lot of people don't think he can."

Happy Valley seasons 1-3 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

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