Happy Valley: What are the Wigan connections to the hit BBC drama?

Happy Valley is currently one of the most talked about TV shows – but what may not be known are its links to Wigan.

Sally Wainwright’s hit show follows Sgt Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) as she battles the dark underworld of Calder Valley and ghosts of her past.

The gripping police drama first came to our screens in 2014 and its final episode was aired on BBC1 on Sunday.

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Sarah Lancashire and James Norton on the set of Happy ValleySarah Lancashire and James Norton on the set of Happy Valley
Sarah Lancashire and James Norton on the set of Happy Valley
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Much of the series was filmed in Hebden Bridge and other parts of Yorkshire, but some scenes were also set closer to home in Bolton.

And the latest series also contained various connections to Wigan.

Among the cast was Simon Lenagan – son of Wigan Warriors’ owner Ian Lenagan – who played Tommy Lee Royce’s solicitor Mr Readyough.

He is also a writer, producer and director who is known mostly for his roles in Breeders, Sitting in Limbo and Spectre.

Con O'NeillCon O'Neill
Con O'Neill
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Also in the series was Con O'Neill, who played Neil Ackroyd.

He was born in Weston-super-Mare and brought up in Up Holland, attending St Peter’s RC High School in Orrell. He frequently returns to the area to visit relatives.

The 56-year-old has previously had several roles in the theatre, including in Educating Rita at the Liverpool Playhouse.

His television roles have included Chernobyl, Our Flag Means Death, Ordinary Lies and Uncle, while he was also in 2022 film The Batman.

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And while they may not be linked, Wigan does have its own Happy Valley for big fans of the show – a Chinese takeaway in Aspull.