A Gloriously Happy New Year to one and ALL!

Let's just say that I have kept you all up to date. I want to talk about one thing today.......    HAPPY VALLEY

OH MY GOD......    I remember sharing a dressing room with Kevin Doyle on This House and Sarah Lancashire came in one night. I had been lucky enough to meet her once or twice, so it felt natural to call her by her first name and all easy.  I have rarely been as tongue tied in my life.  Various times, first meet with Olivier, Derek Jacobi and, well, I have been pretty lucky in my life and career meeting heroes, and just about all have exceeded expectations.

Sarah is...   (I have written many sentences and erased the lot) I cannot find the words to describe her visceral talent. Of course the series isn't all about her, she hasn't written it, and she is surrounded by wonderful actors giving wonderful performances. And as I know only too well, a director can elevate terrific to SODDING BRILLIANT. Sally Wainwright has constructed and developed probably the very best TV I have ever seen.  This is a masterpiece.  I briefly met Siobhan Finneran when I did A Confession, and I gushed and gushed. She matches Sarah, as do all the others, but Sally Wainright has created a world which all of can recognise, but few have ever seen. The way the characters all develop and show, sometimes graphically, the honesty behind their emotions. 

A Director who sees as clearly as Sally Wainright does, is a rare thing. Jeremy Herrin is another example. To get performances out of people the way she has is a dream for us actors. Only a completely trusted relationship would give us Rhys Connah's impeccable portrayal of young Ryan. I may not have mentioned the brilliant James Norton yet, sorry about that. He is both terrifying and subtle and nuanced.  One of the most memorable scenes is the awful running over of Sophie Rundle. Sophie's bloody marvellous too. As is, in series 2, an old pal, Amelia Bulmore. We knew each other 50 odd years ago. Again, Bloody marvellous!  Amelia is one of the forces for good in this business.  And Jill Baker, always mentioned in the same breath as her late hubby, the gorgeous Bob Peck.  As Series 3 unfolds, I am clutching the arms of the chair with my fingers going white. 

Here endeth the adulation of Happy Valley and it's creator Sally Wainright and her star Sarah Lancashire and all the team, actors and crew.

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