Happy Valleys final season first look as Sarah Lancashire is pictured on set

Happy Valley fans will be pleased to find out that the third and final season of the BBC show has started filming.

Sarah Lancashire, who plays police officer Catherine Cawood on the show, was seen back in her role as filming of the show took place in Halifax.

New photos of the set show the actress, 57, wearing her police officer uniform while another snap shows the actress surrounded by crew as she films a scene from her police van.

The last series of the crime drama was broadcast in 2016 and follows Sarah in the role of strong-willed police officer Catherine Cawood, who is coming to terms with the death of her daughter, Becky, who took her own life eight years previously.

But it’s been a winding road for the third series of the drama, which has faced a few setbacks before entering production, meaning over five years have passed since it was last on-screen.

The show had encountered scheduling difficulties with some of the cast schedules, not to mention the coronavirus pandemic affecting the crew's ability to film as normal.

However, show creator Sally Wainwright has penned six new episodes which will be the final chapter of the Happy Valley story, with actors James Norton and Siobhan Finneran also confirmed to return for series three.

James plays murderer and sex offender Tommy Lee Royce and Siobhan plays Catherine’s sister, recovering addict Clare Cartwright.

Series three will see Catherine discover the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, sparking a chain of events that unwittingly lead her straight back to Tommy.

Sarah, who also played Raquel Wolstenhulme in Coronation Street from 1991 to 1996, received a BAFTA for Leading Actress in her role as Catherine as she fights crime in the Yorkshire borough of Calderdale.

Although the first series, released in 2014, and its follow-up were a big hit, Sarah has previously admitted she didn’t always feel right for the role.

Speaking in 2017, recalling how she felt when filming for the first series began, the star said: "For the first four weeks I kept telling them, I am wrong for this role.

“I couldn’t find a way to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable with the uniform. I thought I’d just be an actor in a uniform.

“I was worried about the accent. I was scared the accent was coming across as too broad. But they told me to trust them and I did.”

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