Happy Valley ‘mumble’ probe

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It has proved to be one of the BBC’s most popular dramas of recent years – despite some viewers complaining they could not actually hear the dialogue.

And now the corporation’s boss, Tony Hall, has vowed to look into the sound problems experienced by viewers while watching Happy Valley.

The second series of the BBC One show, which is filmed and set in Calderdale, drew complaints from viewers over the “shocking” sound quality, with people citing “mumbling” and inaudible dialogue. The Director-General said he took “all such complaints seriously” and had asked BBC Television “to look into this matter”.

Minutes from a meeting with the corporation’s governing body, the BBC Trust, document Lord Hall also saying BBC Television has been asked to “consider any immediate issues as well as identifying any lessons for future commissions”.

Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire was recently the subject of speculation over whether she would return for a third series. Ms Lancashire – who plays police sergeant Catherine Cawood – was quoted as stating that she “wouldn’t want it to go to a third series”.

A spokeswoman for the show dismissed the comments as old and said there had since been discussions between her and Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright. The series has regularly drawn in more than seven million viewers.