Sarah Lancashire is to return for the second series of BBC One and Red Production Company’s hit Happy Valley, which will begin filming in Yorkshire this week.

Created by Sally Wainwright, the first series pulled in a consolidated audience of almost 8million and was named best drama series at the Baftas, with Lancashire winning the acting category at the RTS awards.

Sarah Lancashire returns for the second series of Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire returns for the second series of Happy Valley

Joining the cast for series two are former Coronation Street stars Julie Hesmondhalgh and Katherine Kelly, Cucumber actors Vincent Franklin and Con O’Neill, Downton Abbey actor Kevin Doyle and Amelia Bullmore, who has featured in the likes of I’m Alan Partridge and Scott & Bailey.

The 6×60 series will see Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) back heading up her team of dedicated police officers in The Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.

With Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton) firmly behind bars, Catherine suspects there may be another serial killer on the loose and makes a gruesome discovery that will have shocking repercussions for her and her family. Meanwhile, a new detective, DS John Wadsworth (Kevin Doyle) arrives on the block with his own set of problems, and despite being firmly under lock and key, Tommy forms a bond with a mysterious female admirer (Shirley Henderson).

Writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright said: “I am thrilled to be embarking on a second series. We were delighted and overwhelmed with the viewers’ response to series one and it’s clear that there’s a huge appetite to see more of the characters and drama among the TV-viewing public.”

RED Production Company’s founder and executive producer Nicola Shindler added: “Sally created a truly magnificent series with very real, complex characters, an engaging plot and breathtaking storylines. I am delighted and excited to be delving deeper into Catherine’s world in series two.”

The second series will broadcast on BBC One in 2016.