BBC confirms Happy Valley will return for third and final series on New Year’s Day

Happy Valley delayed while writer works on Anne Lister project
Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire, is coming back for a third and final series. (BBC/Red Productions)

Happy Valley is returning in January 2023 for a third and final series after seven years off screen.

The crime thriller about Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) seeking vengeance on Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), the man who raped her daughter Becky and drove her to take her own life, started in 2014 and was last on TV in 2016.

Fans have been waiting for series three and the BBC has now confirmed that it will be back on New Year's Day.

Read more: Happy Valley series three releases first-look images hinting at gritty finale

The new run will see Catherine discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, which sparks a chain of events that stirs up old trauma and leads her straight back to Royce.

Sarah Lancashire returns as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)
Sarah Lancashire returns as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

Her grandson Ryan (Rhys Connah), who was a small child in the first series, is now 16.

He has his own ideas about the relationship that he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his dad, leaving Catherine’s sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) caught in the middle.

In another part of the valley, a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.

Catherine is also still battling the ever-present drugs problem in the valley and is heading for retirement without seeing to have got it in hand.

Happy Valley S3: Tommy Lee Royce (JAMES NORTON) (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC/Alex Telfer)
James Norton in Happy Valley. (BBC/Lookout Point/AMC)

Happy Valley started in 2014 and returned two years later for a second series.

It was a huge hit with viewers and won a best drama series Bafta.

Read more: Happy Valley fans get chance to be at season 3 Halifax premiere

The show's third season will run for six episodes.

It will begin at 9pm on Sunday 1 January 202 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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