James Norton: Happy Valley changed everything for me

Norton, 37, will be reprising his role on as killer Tommy Lee Royce on New Years Day alongside his on-screen foe Sergeant Catharine Cawood, played by Sarah Lancashire.

James celebrated Bafta success in 2014 when he won Best Supporting Actor for the show’s first series. After the second released in 2016, nine million fans have had to endure an agonising seven year wait for the final instalment.

James had nothing but praise for creator and writer Sally Wainwright, who gave him the part when he was 27 and helped him land more TV and film roles.

James said it was the first time he had been in a show being talked about nationwide, as today’s many TV choices meant it rarely happened.

“It was a massive deal for me personally – it changed everything. It allowed me to play someone completely different and people still refer to it. It shows you can do the versatility, so I owe it everything. I love it.”

James is keen not to spoil how the show will end but at a London screening of the opening episode he said: “I have been predicting for the past seven years how Sally is going to end it, so it was wonderful to read the script and hear her ideas – and they don’t disappoint.”

  • Happy Valley returns at 9pm on January 1 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

source: express.co.uk