Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright has teased the BBC One drama's upcoming third season, revealing that the new episodes will follow Ryan as he tries to "make sense of his past".


Fans of the BAFTA-winning show will know that Ryan – played by Rhys Connah – didn't have the best start in life, with his father being Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), a criminal and eventual murderer who raped his late mother Becky.

At the end of season 2, Royce is serving time in prison for murder and attempting to contact Ryan by writing letters and sending them to him via the numerous women obsessed with him – and with season 3 taking place seven years later, Happy Valley will see Ryan discover more about his upbringing.

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley
Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley BBC

"Well, he's someone who's trying to make sense of his past and find out the truth about his past," Wainwright said in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com.

"And you know, it's so complex. And it's so complex for the adults in his life to try and explain things to him without it being too distressing for him. So it's kind of all the complexities of that really."

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Starring Sarah Lancashire, Happy Valley tells the story of West Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood, who is caring for her grandson after her teenage daughter Becky's death and becomes obsessed with finding Royce after he's been released from prison.

Wainwright revealed earlier this month that filming on season 3 has wrapped and that "all the characters you'd expect to see are back".

"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," she added. "So it really explores that."

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