Sally Wainwright

Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright returns with a new female led BBC drama

Sally Wainwright

Hot Flush focuses on the lives of five women in the band as they deal with demanding jobs, dependant parents, adult children, disappointing husbands and the menopause. The group soon discovers they have more to say than they ever imagined, and the band becomes the perfect vehicle for their voices to be heard, as well as a catalyst for change in their lives.

As the women’s lives become intertwined, Kitty and Beth, the two unlikely creators of the band, realise they are connected by more than their love of music as a long-buried secret threatens to tear everything apart.

Happy Valley: A cop on the edge

Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley (credit: BBC)

Human bones, a barrel, the bottom of a reservoir. As far as bleak British crime dramas go, this seems like a textbook set-up.

Thank goodness, then, that the uniformed officer trudging through the mud to identify the dismembered body is Sergeant Catherine Cawood, played by the endlessly watchable Sarah Lancashire and a sign that what we’re about to embark on could not be further from a formulaic police procedural.

New images of Sarah Lancashire and cast of Happy Valley hint at violent justice in series three

Happy Valley last aired in 2016, and speaking to Radio Times earlier this year, Sally Wainwright confirmed that the new series will jump time accordingly, taking place seven years after the events of the last.

In one image, Sarah Lancashire can be seen making her final outing as Sergeant Catherine Cawood, sporting a bloody nose after a police raid.

James Norton as Tommy Lee Royce (credit: BBC)

New documentary Gentleman Jack Changed My Life coming to BBC One

The drama follows Anne Lister, dubbed “the first modern lesbian” for having the courage to love and live openly with Ann Walker in the 19th century.

Since first airing in 2019, the series has inspired many to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery, reassessing their sexuality and coming out to themselves, their children, parents and grandparents.

Emma Loach, BBC Commissioning Editor, says: “It has been so exciting to hear the positive impact that the story of Anne Lister has had on so many people around the world.

BBC sets air date and releases trailer for Gentleman Jack series two

There are also new images of Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle and Lydia Leonard as characters Anne Lister, Ann Walker and Mariana Lawton.

Set in 1834, the series will return to Yorkshire where the newly wedded Lister and Walker are making a home together at Shibden Hall.

The two aim to combine their estate in the hope of becoming a power couple, but Lister’s entrepreneurship frightens the locals as much as her unconventional love life. And as Halifax is on the brink of revolution, her high profile endangers them both.

First-look images released for Gentleman Jack series two

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister (credit: BBC/Lookout Point/HBO/Aimee Spinks)

The new series will see Suranne Jones return to her role as Anne Lister, with Sophie Rundle reprising her role as Anne Lister’s now wife, Ann Walker. Based on the real-life diaries of Anne Lister, some of which were written in code, Gentleman Jack’s second series will follow the couple as they set up their home together at Shibden Hall as wife and wife, in Yorkshire 1834.

BBC One’s Happy Valley to return for a third and final series

(credit: BBC)

After a five-year hiatus, Wainwright has written six new episodes of the West Yorkshire set police drama, with Sarah Lancashire returning to her iconic role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood.

James Norton (McMafia) will reprise his role as Tommy Lee Royce, the murderer and sex-offender who assaulted Catherine’s daughter. Siobhan Finneran (Alma’s Not Normal) will also return as Catherine’s sister, the recovering addict Clare Cartwright.

Winners of the RTS Yorkshire Awards 2020 announced

The creator of the hit BBC period drama received the Outstanding Contribution award. Wainwright, who also wrote Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, said: “It’s very nice that the award has come on the back of Gentleman Jack, which I’ve been working on for over 20 years. It’s the project that’s always been most close to my heart.”

BBC One’s Gentleman Jack commences filming for series two

(credit: BBC)

Suranne Jones will be reprising her role of Anne Lister, with Sophie Rundle returning as Ann Walker.

The series will pick up in Yorkshire, 1834, where Anne Lister and Ann Walker are enjoying married life together at Shibden Hall. Determined to combine their estates, Anne Lister’s entrepreneurial zeal when paired with her unconventional love life begins to stoke fear and fury in the locals.

With Halifax on the brink of revolution, Lister’s refusal to fade into the background becomes dangerous and provocative.

Sally Wainwright: The people’s writer

It is doubtful whether Sally Wainwright’s writing has ever been described as inauthentic – her TV drama is populated with real people, speaking natural, colloquial English. “My imagination doesn’t seem to click in if what I’m writing doesn’t feel real, or if it’s phoney, or if something feels a bit cheesy or sentimental,” she told Endemol Shine UK COO Lucinda Hicks, who hosted an RTS webinar with the writer in May.