Happy Valley star Katherine Kelly talks to Now's Amy Brookbanks about why she won't be returning to the soap that made her famous

Katherine Kelly has exclusively admitted to Now why she won’t be returning to Coronation Street anytime soon.

After a year off work following the birth of her daughter, Orla, 2, the 36-year-old actress has burst back onto our screens in a pretty big way. Stealing the show in no less than three of our favourite programmes; playing Baroness Elsa Schrader in ITV’s live broadcast of The Sound of Music at Christmas, Lady Mae Loxley (now known as Lady Mae Rennard) in the fourth series of period drama Mr Selfridge and most recently in the second series of BBC1’s hit drama Happy Valley. Refreshingly though, Katherine, 36, who may appear to be a workaholic, is anything but. Here, the yummy mummy, married to her boxer beau Ryan Clark, reveals it’s family that will always come first and why she won’t be returning to the soap that made her famous…

Hi Katherine! We’re loving Happy Valley. Did you have to go through any special training to shoot scenes?
Yeah, it was brilliant! We went 
to Halifax Police Station and shadowed the detectives. What 
I love about Happy Valley is it’s 
so detailed. When we did our CID training, the detectives 
said it was the most realistic portrayal of the police force on television. What a compliment.

Has it made you consider 
a change of career?
Oh no! It’s really, really hard what they see and what they deal with. I don’t know how they do it on a day to day basis. Also, the thing that struck me the most 
was how few policemen and women there are these days. The public should 
be aware of just how much Government funding has been taken away from the police. I think it would worry a lot of people because it certainly worried me.

Who are you closest to on set?
Sarah Lancashire [Catherine Cawood] is amazing – she’s such a national treasure, so professional and so much fun as well. She’s so intelligent and great to be around. I got particularly close to my team too – Vincent Franklin [Andy Shepherd] and Kevin Doyle [John Wadsworth]. I still miss seeing them every day.


Do you reminisce about Coronation Street 
with Sarah?
Not really, because we weren’t in it together. Say you went to Leeds University and then you meet someone who was at Leeds University 10 years before 
– there’d be a few people you might both know but truthfully, it could pretty much be a totally different place.

Do you still watch Corrie?
I haven’t watched it for ages! The thing is, 7.30pm is my daughter’s bedtime. I’ve tried to watch the live shows but I found it too nerve-wracking. I’m still in touch with everybody, like Paula Lane [Kylie], Jenny McAlpine [Fiz] and Ryan Thomas [Jason]. They all came to Orla’s birthday party this year. I’m always texting Alison King [Carla] and Antony Cotton [Sean] comes and stays over. They’re life-long friends, like family in many ways, so I don’t feel the need to watch it so 
much when I’m in touch with everybody like I am. I don’t even know half of the characters!


Would you 
ever go back to the show?
The only thing that would worry me about going back to Corrie is this: I absolutely loved it so much. I was there 
for just over four years and it 
was one of the best times of my life. I’d be worried that going 
back to it, it wouldn’t be the 
same. A lot of people have left 
and they’re filming at a completely different place now. 
I wouldn’t want anything to spoil the amazing time I had there. Never say never, of course. But that would be my big worry.

Katherine stars in Happy Valley, on BBC1, 9pm, Tuesday’s