Happy Valley: Penny Lancaster hopes BBC drama inspires more women to join police

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Penny Lancaster, who is herself a special constable in the City of London Police, hopes ‘Happy Valley’ - airing its final episode tonight - inspires more women to join the police

Special constable Penny Lancaster hopes women who watch BBC drama ‘Happy Valley’ are “inspired” to join the police. The latest series of the show concludes on BBC tonight (February 5) - set to be the last ever episode.

The drama has followed the life and career of Sergeant Catherine Cawood as a police officer in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. The various twists and turns in her life have resulted in her becoming a tough and sympathetic member of the police.

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Penny Lancaster began volunteering for the City of London police following an appearance on Channel 4’s Famous And Fighting Crime. In the show, celebrities swapped their day jobs with those of emergency service professionals.

She completed her training to become a special constable in April 2021 and has been a police officer since. Writing in the Daily Mail, Penny Lancaster said the police needed female officers now more than ever.

She said: “So many of the skills you require as a police officer actually come from your own experience.

“I think it’s why women make great officers. The first skills you need are compassion, empathy and communication — all of which you use on a daily basis as a mother.

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“The more I do this job, the more I see the parallels. I do hope that women watching Happy Valley might be inspired to join the police. We need female officers more than ever.”

Mrs Lancaster, who is married to singer Rod Stewart, added: “Catherine shows that it’s a tough job but that women can be as tough as men and actually, a lot of the time, do the job more efficiently because of their inner strength.

“It’s not about bravado or flexing muscles. And while we need young women, we also need to retain the older women in the force.”

What time is Happy Valley on tonight?

The final episode of Happy Valley will air on BBC One at 9pm. It will also be available on BBC iPlayer.

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