Screenwriter and TV director Sally Wainwright has tugged the emotions of millions of viewers with dramas such as Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley.
But when she received a special award from the University of Huddersfield, she was the one who found the ceremony an emotional experience.
This was because she was being conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the self-same institution at which her late father had been a lecturer. “I am absolutely overwhelmed,” she told the audience, adding that the connection between the University of Huddersfield and her father made the event “particularly poignant”. Harry Wainwright was a Senior Lecturer in Education during the 1970s-80s. He died in 2001.
Sally Wainwright – who is currently directing a drama she has scripted about the BrontÑ‘ Sisters – received her award from the University of Huddersfield’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan. It was bestowed during a graduation ceremony for students of the University’s School of Music, Humanities and Media.
Born in Huddersfield and brought up in Sowerby Bridge, Sally Wainwright began her professional writing career in her early 20s, giving up a job driving buses in London to write a trial script of The Archers.
The second series of Happy Valley – located in Halifax and the Calder Valley – drew more than seven million viewers in the UK alone. Sally Wainwright has confirmed that there will be a third series in due course.