Happy Valley crowned best TV programme of 2014

Actress Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley
Actress Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

Happy Valley has triumphed over Sherlock and Peter Capaldi’s turn as the Time Lord to be crowned best TV programme of 2014.

The dark, BBC One police drama, starring Sarah Lancashire as a police sergeant in the Yorkshire valleys, came top of a Radio Times poll which was dominated by home-grown shows.

Set in Calderdale and a huge ratings hit earlier in the summer, the series was created by BAFTA winning writer Sally Wainwright.

Utilising settings in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, the hard-hitting drama stars Sarah Lancashire as Sgt Catherine Cawood.

The series hinged on a kidnap plot in Sowerby Bridge, where Catherine is a police sergeant. Peppered with references to real places, landmarks like Wainhouse Tower were frequently shown.

Line Of Duty, about a police anti-corruption unit and starring Keeley Hawes, was second while t he third series of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock completed the top three.

The Trip To Italy, Michael Winterbottom’s comedy drama starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, was fourth followed by US drama True Detective, featuring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson .

The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, was next followed by Toast Of London, featuring Matt Berry as an eccentric, middle-aged actor, and Detectorists, Mackenzie Crook’s series about metal detecting enthusiasts.

Doctor Who - in which Capaldi starred as the Time Lord - was ninth while US import Homeland was 10th.

The annual poll was voted for by Radio Times critics.

RadioTimes.com editor Tim Glanfield said: “The critics’ top five shows that our love of quality crime and detective drama is alive and well, with both the darker, grittier side represented, in shows like Happy Valley, Line of Duty and True Detective, as well as the fun side of mystery-solving in Sherlock.

“But it’s nice, too, to see a real mix in the top 10, with left-field comedies like The Trip To Italy, Toast Of London and Detectorists sitting alongside political thrillers - and of course Peter Capaldi in his first outing as Doctor Who.”

Radio Times critics Top 10 programmes of 2014

1. Happy Valley, BBC One

2. Line of Duty, BBC Two

3. Sherlock, BBC One

4. The Trip To Italy, BBC Two

5. True Detective, Sky Atlantic

6. The Honourable Woman, BBC Two

7. Toast Of London, Channel 4

8. Detectorists, BBC Four

9. Doctor Who, BBC One

10. Homeland, Channel 4