Oxfordshire playwright Sally Wainwright's drama Happy Valley triumphed at last night’s Bafta Television Awards.

Sarah Lancashire was named best leading actress for her portrayal of no-nonsense Sergeant Catherine Cawood in the swansong of Ms Wainwright’s Yorkshire-set thriller.

Cawood’s final kitchen showdown with James Norton’s Tommy Lee Royce in the series also won the P&O Cruises memorable moment award.

Oxford Mail: Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

Ms Wainwright lives in a Cotswold village, near Oxford, and is married to Ralph 'Austin' Sherlaw Johnson, an antiquarian sheet music dealer and son of the composer Robert Sherlaw Johnson.

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The writer, 60, revealed that she had worried about the prospect of retirement but found she enjoyed taking six months off after finishing Happy Valley more than she thought she would.

However, she said she has “more ideas” than she ever has including wanting to do a project on pioneering English pilot Amy Johnson, who was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia.

She said: “I can’t get anybody to be interested in Amy Johnson and I don’t know why. I think she’s one of the most fascinating people and I think her story is extraordinary.”

Timothy Spall also took home the leading actor Bafta for true crime series The Sixth Commandment, about the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin in a quiet Buckinghamshire village.

Ben Field, then 28, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 36 years behind bars in 2019 after he was found guilty of murdering 69-year-old Mr Farquhar following a trial at Oxford Crown Court.

The police only became involved in Mr Farquhar's death after relatives of another of Field’s elderly victims, Ann Moore-Martin, raised concerns that he was conning the retired Bicester headteacher.

Oxford Mail: Timothy Spall as Peter Farquhar

While Field admitted defrauding the woman, who was more than 50 years older than him and with whom he was in an intimate relationship, he was cleared of plotting to murder her.

Miss Moore-Martin died of natural causes in 2017, two years before Field's trial in Oxford.

Mr Spall said: “Acting is a stupid thing, it’s a soppy old thing, standing up pretending to be someone and pissing around in costume.

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“Sixty-seven and you think ‘am I still doing this?’

“But sometimes you get the chance to play people that have had a terrible thing happen to then and all they wanted was love, and it’s a beautiful thing to be able to tell a story about that.

"It’s about crimes but it’s also about love.

“And when it makes a difference and we can all share in the human condition, some of it horrible and some of it beautiful and even though acting is a silly stupid thing, its lovely,”

The drama also won the limited series Bafta.