Happy Valley’s ending was changed at the behest of Sarah Lancashire

‘[Lancashire] made it clear that she wasn’t happy with it,’ series creator said

Louis Chilton
Friday 10 February 2023 06:31 GMT
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Happy Valley final episode trailer

Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright has revealed that she changed the series’ ending at the behest of lead star Sarah Lancashire.

BBC One’s acclaimed crime drama came to an end last week with the finale of its third and final series.

The finale was met with ardent praise from the show’s fanbase. You can catch up on everything that happened in the episode here.

The day after the finale aired, Wainwright appeared on Newsnight to discuss the show’s conclusion.

“Sarah is to thank for that ending, in many ways, because I wrote the first draft, and everybody seemed quite happy with it and then she made it clear that she wasn’t happy with it,” she revealed.

“The Christmas before, she came up to my house, and she spent all day talking about it and she gave me some really good notes. So everything got pushed a bit further in that episode and it was all thanks to Sarah.”

The TV creator added that it was a “great privilege” to have input from Lancashire, who knew the scripts “almost better than I do”, and was familiar with the “granular details” of her character’s journey.

“It was a really fabulous conversation – she was literally here all day at my house,” Wainwright recalled. And we just spent all day really talking it through and it is nice that we kind of worked it through together. Her performance is just off the scales.”

Sarah Lancashire in ‘Happy Valley’
Sarah Lancashire in ‘Happy Valley’ (BBC)

The episode is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

To mark the series finale, Lancashire organised for her co-stars and crew members to receive a “special gift” relating to the show.

In an interview with The Independent, Happy Valley villain James Norton shared his “final conclusion” on whether he thinks his character was a “psychopath”, and revealed the callback featured in a climactic scene involving Tommy and Catherine.

Days after the episode, comedian Kieran Hodgson went viral thanks to a video filled with his hilarious impressions of the show’s characters.

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