6 Reasons To Watch Happy Valley

If you didn’t catch the first series of gripping BBC One drama Happy Valley back in 2014, we suggest you go and binge watch, asap.

Assuming you’re now up to date on the violent going’s on in the picturesque West Yorkshire village where the show is set, welcome back. Happy Valley – the name local police give to West Yorkshire’s Calder Valley because of drug problems – was an instant hit when it aired, won last years Best Drama Series Bafta and bagged nominations for its stars Sarah Lancashire and James Norton. Sarah Lancashire plays Catherine Cawood, a police sergeant who in the first series is still coming to terms with her daughter’s suicide, which she believes was the result of her rape and impregnation by James Norton’s Tommy Lee Royce.

The gripping, addictive first series followed Catherine as she became obsessed with finding Royce, unaware that he was also involved in the kidnapping of a local woman and a brutal series of crimes. The first episode of the second series is no less enthralling, with Royce in prison, a serial killer on the loose; Catherine under suspicion. But we don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen it yet…so here’s six reason’s to start watching the show everyone will be talking about…

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James Norton

Because, well, obvs. Word of warning to War & Peace fans: Norton’s Happy Valley character couldn’t be further from that of heartthrob Prince Andrei. Dreams will be shattered.

James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley

Hebden Bridge

An enclave for artists, writers and poets – it even boasts its own juggling shop – over the years it has been declared the coolest, quirkiest and most creative place to live in Britain. Also, it took a battering during the floods, so it’s nice to see it looking glorious again on screen.

Matthew Lewis’ Pornstache

After developing a crush we definitely didn’t see coming on newly buff Matthew Lewis – AKA Neville Longbottom – we’re not sure how to feel about his latest look. Yep, his latest role as Sean Balmforth in Happy Valley shows him sporting some rather dubious facial fluff. Cue the internet going wild over said ‘pornstache’. We’re on the fence until we see more…

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The Corrie Reunion

From the cobbles of Weatherfield to West Yorkshire’s most violent valley, two of Coronation Street’s most loved characters have joined the show for series 2. Yep, Hayley Cropper, aka Julie Hesmondhalgh and Becky McDonald, played by Catherine Kelly, are part of the exciting new line-up.


The Amazing Writing

Rape, kidnapping and, erm, sheep rustling…Writer Sally Wainright – creator of Last Tango in Halifax and Scott & Bailey – is known for creating strong female characters that must juggle career and family and sometimes fall short. Her shows address social issues and human weaknesses in a very authentic way. Almost always, her stories take place in her native Yorkshire or in the North at least.

Sarah Lancashire

For being sarcastic, gritty and a little bit messed up and basically a world away from bubbly Raquel in Coronation. Yep, another Corrie alumni, and definitely a police officer you’d want on your block.

Happy Valley is on BBC One on Tuesdays at 9pm