After seven years away from our screens, Happy Valley is back on New Year's Day, with James Norton reprising his role as the villainous murderer Tommy Lee Royce – and while the third season hasn't even started yet, the actor has already promised a jaw-dropping finale.


Speaking to Radio Times magazine, Norton – who first took on the role of Royce in 2014 – teased that the final episode of season 3 will leave viewers "reeling".

"[Happy Valley] hit the bull’s-eye in the first and second series, so we’re feeling the pressure of expectation," he shared.

"We’re all aware of the incredible love people have for it and we really have to deliver. But I’m pretty sure that, by the time you get to the finale, you’ll be reeling."

The new season picks back up with Sergeant Catherine Cawood as she's about to retire from the police force, but before she can, she starts investigating a gangland murder that leads her right back to Royce.

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While Royce is still serving time in prison following the events of season 1, it doesn't stop him from having an influence on the outside world, with the criminal's new long-haired look being linked to a potential plotline, according to Norton.

"Tommy’s look might be misleading," he said. "You’d be wrong in thinking Tommy is suddenly a born-again guy.

"[Creator Sally Wainwright] is so elegant in her storytelling, it’s much more mysterious and subtle."

The BBC released a new trailer for the upcoming season today, teasing the Yorkshire drama to come, while Norton previously said that the show's ending 'won't disappoint' fans.

Radio Times Christmas cover

You can read the full interview in the Radio Times Christmas issue, available to buy now.

Happy Valley season 3 will premiere on New Year's Day at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The first two seasons are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

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