I need time to come up with Happy Valley 3, says writer Sally Wainwright

Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright has said she is on board to write a third series of the show when she has time to dedicate to the perfect plot.

The BBC One drama, starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, drew an impressive overnight average of 7.4 million viewers for Tuesday’s tense series finale as Sergeant Catherine Cawood closed in on the killer constable and saved the life of an overdosing suspect while arresting her.

Sarah Lancashire Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire received high praise for her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Ben Blackall/Red Productions/BBC)


Sally told BBC Breakfast: “I’m so busy with other projects at the moment, I haven’t got time to sit down and come up with stories.

“What I’d hate to do is do a third series and people say it wasn’t as good, so I want time to go away and really come up with stories that I think are going to make a third series.”

While the plot of the show has been praised, it has received criticism for poor sound quality and mumbling, which Wainwright said ‘mystified’ the production team.

Shirley Henderson and Sarah Lancashire

The series finale cleared up loose ends from the series, including Catherine confronting Frances Drummond (Ben Blackall/Red Productions/BBC)


“When it leaves the (dubbing suite), the episode is perfect, technically, it’s perfect – it has to be.

“There are certain standards that we have to meet, so as the series transmission went on we became more and more conscious of being in the dub and listening really carefully, trying to be objective about it.

“We watched it on all the hi-tech equipment, we all brought a very ordinary telly in to listen to it on that.”

She added: “I do find it bemusing (that) for every person that said ‘I can’t hear it’ there were as many people saying ‘I can hear it’.”

Daryl Garrs (ROBERT EMMS), Alison Garrs (SUSAN LYNCH)
Daryl Garrs and his mother Alison (Matt Squire/Red Productions/BBC)


Discussing the popularity of the gritty show, Sally praised Sarah for her role as the determined officer.

“I thought Sarah was just amazing, absolutely amazing,” she said.

The first series won best drama at the television Bafta awards and fans on Twitter were quickly demanding Sarah win a Bafta for her role as the gripping series came to the close.


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