Sarah Lancashire fights back tears as she wins Best Leading Actress at the BAFTAs for Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire was awarded Best Leading Actress at the 2024 BAFTAs credit:Bang Showbiz
Sarah Lancashire was awarded Best Leading Actress at the 2024 BAFTAs credit:Bang Showbiz

Sarah Lancashire fought back tears as she accepted the Best Leading Actress Award at the BAFTAs with P+O Cruises on Sunday (12.05.24) evening.

The 59-year-old actress was nominated against Anjana Vassan, ('Black Mirror'), Anne Reid, ('The Sixth Commandment'), Bella Ramsey, ('The Last of Us'), Helena Bonham Carter 'Nolly') and Sharon Horgan (' Best') at the prestigious awards ceremony and ultimtely regined supreme following her star turn as policewoman Catherine Cawood in the hit BBC drama 'Happy Valley'.

Speaking live on stage during a rare public appearance at the Royal Festival Hall, she said: "Thank you, BAFTA, it's an honour. I'd like to acknowledge my fellow nominees and their tremendous work. Thank you, Sally Wainwright. I shall forever be grateful to you for this opportunity."

Sarah - who shot to fame when she took on the role of Raquel Wolstenhulme in 'Coronation Street' in the early 1990s - worked alongside James Noron, Siobhan Finneran and Steve Pemberton over the course the the three series and made sure to thank each of her "brilliant" co-stars during her speech, as she also noted that the broadcaster had given the show a suitable home.

"Formidable cast and crew. I feel very, very privilege to be surrounded by these brilliant actors and I thank each and every one of you.

"Thank you to the BBC for giving this very British drama a very British home."

Earlier in the evening, the drama was handed the P+O Cruises Memorable Moment, with the show's young star Rhys Connah (Ryan Cawood) being sent up alone to collect it.

He said: "I got a message the other day saying that if we won it, I could go up and say a few words and accept it. They didn't tell me I'd be on my own, so yeah, bit nervous.

"Thank you so much to every single person who watched this show, who voted for this show. It means so much to me and everyone else down there who work on 'Happy Valley', we cannot thank you enough. Thanks mostly to Sally Wainwright, the writer of the show, for that incredible scene."

The viral moment had gone up against David Beckham teasing wife Victoria about her “working class” upbringing in their Netflix documentary, Ncuity Gatwa being unveiled as the new lead in 'Doctor Who', Bill and Frank’s story in 'The Last of Us' and 13-year old Lucy stunning commuters with her performance on 'The Piano'.