Sarah Lancashire has admitted she loves Last Tango In Halifax so much that she would do it for the rest of her life if she could.

The actress stars in the BBC drama which returned to our screens for a third series at the weekend. She said: “It’s a joy doing Last Tango in Halifax. I’d do it until the day I die, frankly. It’s so beautifully written, I’d turn up to read two lines a day just to be part of it.”

Earlier this year, Sarah won the Best Supporting Actress Bafta for her role in the drama, which also stars Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi and Nicola Walker. “What a lovely thing, to have your work recognised by your peers,” says Sarah. “But it was a big shock and wasn’t expected.”

The drama, about a two childhood sweethearts who are reunited in later life, is written by Sally Wainwright, who penned another drama starring Sarah. In the BBC1 drama Happy Valley. the former Coronation Street actress plays police sergeant Catherine Cawood, a woman still coming to terms with the rape and death of her daughter, while being hounded by psychopath Tommy (James Norton).

Sarah says: “Sally’s sitting down writing the second series of Happy Valley now, and will be on that for God knows how many months. That’s a huge part of her life.”

She said of the second series: “Sally writing it now and will be on that for months. I don’t know what the story is and I have absolutely no idea what Sally has in store for me, but I’m bracing myself.”