Happy Valley cast: what next for BBC crime drama stars including Sarah Lancashire after season 3 finale?

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Future TV and film roles for the cast of BBC crime drama Happy Valley include interactive film The Isle Tide Hotel and HBO series Julia

The final season of BBC crime drama Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, came to a dramatic end on Sunday night. The season finale, watched by millions of viewers in the UK brought and end to the story of sergeant Catherine Cawood and her nemesis Tommy Lee Royce.

Following a New Year’s Day season premiere that has so far been watched by more than 11 million viewers, the series has continued to captivate fans through its six week run. The full series, as well as seasons one and two, is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the popular series now at an end, some viewers will be at a loss for what to watch next - National World has compiled a list of other exciting British crime dramas to watch after Happy Valley for those who are need of further gritty entertainment.

The main cast of the series are set to return to the small screen this year, and some will feature in major film releases. This is what the cast of Happy Valley are due to star in this year:

Sarah Lancashire

After hanging up her boots in the series finale of Happy Valley, the series lead, Sarah Lancashire, who played police sergeant Catherine Cawood, will return to another major role.

Lancashire is due to reprise her role as food TV pioneer Julia Child in the HBO Max series Julia. The series premiered in the US in March 2022 and is available in the UK on NOW. The second season was confirmed last year and is expected to land in spring of this year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
James Norton in the Happy Valley finaleJames Norton in the Happy Valley finale
James Norton in the Happy Valley finale | BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

James Norton

James Norton played Tommy Lee Royce, the villain of the piece throughout Happy Valley - the man who Cawood held responsible for her son’s suicide. The two despised each other and ultimately faced off in the dramatic finale.

Norton has several projects in the works - he will appear in a Bob Marley biopic alongside Kingsley Ben-Adir as the reggae legend, and Lashana Lynch as Marley’s wife, Rita. The film is currently set for a release on 12 January 2024.

Norton also has a voice role in the animated adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novel, Heart of Darkness, about a steamboat travelling the Congo river in search of the legendary Kurtz who has styled himself as a god among the natives.

Another project in the pipeline for Norton is Men of Divorce, a drama in which he stars in the lead role as Nick Pearce, a man in the middle of a divorce who goes on a bachelor party with several people who are influential to him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Before that, though, you can see Norton in Tim Renkow’s BBC Three comedy Jerk - playing himself. When Norton is cast in a biopic of a famous disabled musician, activists complain, and Norton is replaced by Tim... despite the fact that Tim can’t actually act.

Siobhan Finneran

Finneran played Catherine’s younger sister Clare Cartwright in the series - having recovered from addiction issues, Clare spends her time helping Catherine to raise her grandson, Ryan.

Finneran will return to the screen in Rapture alongside Spaced actress Jessica Hynes and The Larkins actress Lydia Page. The short film is set at a Catholic Confirmation camp, where a 16-year-old girl comes to terms with her sexuality. The film is currently in pre-production.

Charlie Murphy

Murphy starred as Ann Gallagher, a colleague of Cawood’s who becomes the victim of a kidnap plot in the series. Murphy is due to play Anna Barton in the drama mystery miniseries Damage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Damage follows Anna, as she falls in love with William (Richard Armitage), the man who is soon to become her father-in-law. As she tries to keep her affair secret, she finds that ultimately, someone is going to be hurt by her actions. Damage is due to be released on Netflix this year.

Rick Warden

Warden played inspector Mike Taylor, a colleague of Cawood’s in each season of Happy Valley. He will next appear in the true crime drama series The Sixth Commandment about the 2015 murder of lecturer Peter Farquhar and death of his neighbour Ann Moore-Martin.

Warden will play defence barrister Oliver Saxby in the series alongside Timothy Spall and Anna Crilly. The series will air on BBC One and is expected to be released later this year.

Amit Shah as Faisal Bhatti in Happy ValleyAmit Shah as Faisal Bhatti in Happy Valley
Amit Shah as Faisal Bhatti in Happy Valley | BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire

Amit Shah

Shah starred as Faisal Bhatti, a troubled pharmacist who becomes involved in several killings during the series and seems to continually dig himself deeper. Shah will play Christopher in the interactive adventure film The Isle Tide Hotel. The movie/game about an absent father who must rescue his daughter from a strange cult it due for release on 15 March 2023.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Shah will also star alongside Emily Blunt and Chris Evans in Pain Hustlers, a crime drama film about a woman (Blunt) who wants a better life for her daughter but finds herself in the middle of a criminal conspiracy when she takes over a bankrupt pharmacy. The film is currently in post-production and will be released this year.

Thriller movie 7 Keys is another of Shah’s upcoming projects - it is about a world that has become obsessed with dating apps, big houses, and high living, while the divide between the wealthy and the poor grows ever wider.

Con O’Neill

O’Neil played Neil Ackroyd, Clare’s boyfriend and a recovering alcoholic who had a major role in the series finale. O’Neill has been confirmed to be involved in two upcoming projects. The first is short film Pork Scratchings from Heartstopper assistant director Sam Arbor, in which he will play the character of Rob.

He will also star alongside Mark Rylance and Ben Kinglsey in drama film The Last Planet, a retelling of several events from the life of Christ. He will play Enoch, a Biblical figure from the book of Genesis who was said to live for over 300 years in the time before The Flood.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Derek Riddell

Riddell played Cawood’s ex-husband Richard in the series - Richard and Cawood began an affair after he had re-married. Riddell is due to star in two TV shows. He will play Calloway in the crime drama Bodies about four detectives from different time periods investigating the same murder in London. The Netflix series, which also stars Stephen Graham, will likely be released this year.

Riddell will DCI Adam Guthrie in Payback, a crime drama about a woman who becomes entangled in a police operation to topple the notorious crime lord Cal Morris. The series will land on BritBox later this year.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.