Gritty crime drama series filmed in Bolton has won three prizes at the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards.

Sarah Lancashire won the best actress gong for playing Yorkshire police officer Sergeant Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley, while writer and creator Sally Wainwright took home the best drama series and best writer awards for the BBC One programme at the BPG’s 50th anniversary gala lunch in London.

The Bolton News: Happy Valley in Bolton - Sarah Lancashire

The final season of Happy Valley, which had key scenes filmed in Bolton, gripped viewers and was hailed by critics when it culminated last year in a showdown between Cawood and her nemesis Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton).

The series filmed scenes at Amico Cafe.

Viewers of BBC show spot familiar places in Bolton

Happy Valley filmed in Bolton biggest on-demand title in the UK

However, it was Mr Bates Vs The Post Office – whose airing on January 1 2024 led the Government to take action on compensation for subpostmasters – which snapped up the television BPG jury prize, the first time the gong has been given out.

The ITV drama brought widespread attention to the Horizon IT scandal, which has been branded the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history after Post Office workers were found to have been wrongly convicted due to faulty accounting software.

Stars of the series, Toby Jones and Monica Dolan, attended the event with former subpostmistress Jo Hamilton, whom Dolan portrayed on the small screen.

The Bolton News: A scene from Happy Valley filmed in the cafe

BPG chairwoman Manori Ravindran said: “As an organisation of journalists, the BPG members wanted to be the first to pay tribute to a truly unique story and a piece of landmark television that created massive headlines, gripped a huge TV audience and helped clear the names of the victims of a gross miscarriage of justice.”

Elsewhere, Oscar winner Gary Oldman took the best actor trophy for his role as the boss of reject spies in Apple TV+ comedy drama Slow Horses while Squid Game: The Challenge – a real-life game version spin-off of the hit Netflix series without the lethal consequences – scooped up best entertainment show.

The psychological reality show beat the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest coverage in Liverpool as well as ITV dating show My Mum Your Dad.

The two documentary trophies, one for short and one for long shows, went separately to Channel 4’s Russell Brand: In Plain Sight: Dispatches and BBC One’s Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland.

Comedian and actor Brand, 48, has strongly and repeatedly denied accusations of sexual assault and rape that were made by women during the airing of the programme, which was the result of a joint investigation by The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

Meanwhile, BBC shows also walked away with BPG awards for Time, an anthology drama, which won for best single drama or mini series prize, and the final instalment of supernatural series Ghosts, which was named best comedy.

Ms Ravindran said: “To have such a list of worthy and talented winners to celebrate our 50th anniversary is very fitting because our members take great pride in honouring the very best programmes and people.”

David Jonsson was named breakthrough talent for Agatha Christie’s Murder Is Easy and The Crown producer Andy Harries was honoured with the Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting following his career being involved with hits shows like The Royle Family, Cold Feet and Outlander.

The inaugural jury prize for audio was won by Goalhanger Podcasts, co-founded by Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker.

The company has launched podcasts such as The Rest Is Politics, which is hosted by former Labour Party communication chief Alastair Campbell and ex-Conservative MP Rory Stewart.

Former BBC Radio 2 star Ken Bruce also won for audio presenter of the year for his Greatest Hits Radio show.

The 73-year-old left the BBC in March 2023 after several decades at the broadcaster and was replaced by Vernon Kay.