James Norton is confident that viewers won't be expecting the shocking end of Happy Valley season 3, which has hooked the nation over recent weeks.


The McMafia actor, who has played criminal Tommy Lee Royce in all three seasons of the hard-hitting crime drama, has alluded to more surprises on the way as the series nears its final chapter,

Speaking to press at a Q&A, he sand the praises of creator and writer Sally Wainwright, who is also known for other acclaimed dramas Gentleman Jack and Last Tango in Halifax.

"The Sally signature is 'the rug pull' and there's a few of those still to come," he told RadioTimes.com and other outlets. "Right until the end, it's surprising."

Norton continued: "Every time you get the scripts, you're like, 'She's done it again! She's not fallen short!' – not that she ever would. But there's always that thing of... is it going to be as good as the first two? And I think it's better!"

Giving an insight into his character's motives, Norton said that over the past seven years, Royce has been "meditating" on two things: "The love he has for his son and the hate he feels for Catherine."

James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley
James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley. BBC/Lookout Point

On his character's visual transformation in season 3, he added: "I did enjoy the hair. The hair was Sally's [idea] – for a long time she's had this idea that she wanted him to look a kind of Christ figure, with the scar on the head and the long hair."

Happy Valley season 3 is set to be the final instalment of the crime drama, with executive producer Will Johnston previously telling Radio Times magazine that the show "definitely" isn't coming back – despite rave reviews and ratings success.

"This is [from] Sally and Sarah, who completely and rightly feel that you can have too much of a good thing," he said.

Additional reporting by Morgan Jeffery.

Happy Valley continues at 9pm on BBC One on Sunday 29th January 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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