The third season of Happy Valley will also be the show's last – and the creative team behind the hit series have insisted there are no plans for a future revival.


Speaking at a BFI screening, executive producer Will Johnston explained that series creator Sally Wainwright and star Sarah Lancashire had agreed that the drama "would only return once more", seven years after the second season.

"The two vital things are that Rhys [Connah, playing Ryan Cawood] is now at an age to make his own decisions about his life and the relationships in it, and [Lancashire's character] Catherine's on the brink of retirement, and those felt like such juicy things to explore," he said.

The new episodes will see police sergeant Catherine Cawood have to contend with her now 16-year-old grandson Ryan, who has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with his biological father, the murderer and rapist Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).

Norton recently told Radio Times magazine that the final season would leave the audience "reeling" and executive producer Johnston seemed to hint that Happy Valley would deliver a definitive ending.

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"It definitely isn't coming back – and again this is [from] Sally and Sarah who completely and rightly feel that you can have too much of a good thing," he said.

"We're really not doing any more. You're a few weeks away from the ending but when you get to it, I really hope you'll feel content that if that's the last you ever see of the characters of Happy Valley, it was a big way to go out."

Johnston added that Lancashire – who also serves as an executive producer on the new season – had "a very big voice" in deciding how her character's story would conclude.

"A series like this returning, the actors are in conversation very early about their characters and the way that things move forward," he explained. "It's to be worked out together and Sally, as singular as she is as a writer and a director, is also a massive collaborator."

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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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