No new Happy Valley until ‘end of 2018 at the earliest’

It’s been a bumper news day for Sarah Lancashire fans. This morning we carried a story that the award-winning actress is set to appear in Tom Rob Smith’s MotherFatherSon, and now we get an update on the much-anticipated third series of Happy Valley.

Radio Times reports that Executive Producer, Nicola Shindler, spoke at a Broadcasting Press Guild event this week.

“We are working on a new idea for Sally for BBC1 which will be next year so the earliest Happy Valley would be would be towards the end of 2018, I would suspect.

“She won’t write the [Happy Valley] scripts for some time but Sally’s determined to do it, Sarah’s determined to do it.”

Shindler suggested that the third series of Happy Valley would need to wait to allow the character of Ryan to grow up. The young son of Catherine’s daughter was conceived by a rape perpetrated by the chief villain Royce, played by James Norton.

“Sally is thinking about a story and the story she is thinking about literally needs time. Because if you look at the characters that are left, there is Sarah, there is James Norton and there is a young boy, who the minute he turns into a teenager it becomes a much more interesting story.

“She doesn’t know what the story is yet. She is mulling it in her head but we are thinking about giving it a bit of space in story terms.”

This all sounds to us that RED Productions and Sally Wainwright will have to get their skates on if anything’s going to happen in 2018. What’s far more likely, in our opinion, is that production will start by the end of the year and the series will air in early 2019.

Still, watch this space – it’s good to hear that both Wainwright and Lancashire are committed to making this happen.


Sarah Lancashire joins Tom Rob Smith’s MotherFatherSon

Last week we brought you news of Tom ‘Gianni Versace’ Rob Smith’s next project: an eight-part psychological thriller called MotherFatherSon for the BBC. The top-line news was that Richard Gere was to star alongside Helen McCrory, the US star’s first appearance on telly for a looooong time.

Now we hear that the cast has been fleshed out with more stellar names – one of them being Happy Valley and Kiri’s award-winning Sarah Lancashire.

According to Deadline:

As previously announced, Gere — in his first major TV drama role — will star alongside McCrory and Billy Howle as the family at the heart of the series. The trio will be joined by BAFTA winner Lancashire as Angela Howard, a brilliant businesswoman-turned-MP and Leader of the Opposition, while Sinead Cusack and Ready will play Maggie and Nick, renegade journalists from the London-based newspaper that Max (Gere) owns.

Pippa Bennett-Warner (Harlots) has been cast as Lauren, a senior executive with the company and trusted adviser to Max. Danny Sapani (Black Panther) will play Jahan Zakari, the first Muslim Prime Minister of the UK, with Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones) cast as Scott, an enigmatic and damaged figure who McCrory’s character Kathryn becomes entangled with.

Sounds like a winner to us. More news etc.