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Star interview: Sally Wainwright

Stellar screenwriter Sally Wainwright discusses her career and inspirations with Andy Plaice

From BUS DRIVER to Bafta

The sun never shines in winter, they say, in this small Yorkshire valley town associated with textile history, quirky locals and more lately with a BBC drama that established its creator, Sally Wainwright, as the most influential female voice in British television.

Hebden Bridge is something else: postcard-perfect with quaint shops and millstone houses that cling for dear life to the steep hills all around. Tourists like it, as do painters, poets and wealthy professionals who work in Leeds or Manchester.

And yet there’s a dark side too, a side rich for excavation as the backdrop to Sally’s Happy Valley, which is now getting a second outing after series one in 2014 drew critical acclaim and had viewers hooked in their millions. Not only is Hebden Bridge the setting for Happy Valley, it’s virtually a character in its own right and it’s easy to see why Sally was so inspired.

Sally’s here to film the second series, which will see Sarah Lancashire return as no-nonsense police sergeant Catherine Cawood, and to talk about her forthcoming film about the Brontë siblings for the BBC, To Walk Invisible.

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About Writing Magazine

FREE 2016 Competition supplement: Win £400,388 in over 250 writing competitions • The bigger prize: Why comps are good for you , win or lose • Beat the Brontës: Explore Charlotte's style and try your hand in our special competition • How to: Craft credible historical fiction Use humour in your writing Learn from the short story masters • Star interview with TV scriptwriter Sally Wainwright, Bafta-winning author of Happy Valley

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