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Happy Valley: 5 excellent James Norton shows to watch

There are plenty of shows to watch James Norton where he doesn’t play a psychopath…

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Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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James Norton is the guy we love to hate in Happy Valley as Tommy Lee Royce, Catherine’s arch nemesis who also happens to be the father of her grandson, Ryan. While James is one of the standout performances in the hit BBC drama, there are plenty of shows where he shines… without playing a psychopath. See our top picks here!


Who can forget James’ turn as vicar Sidney Chambers from seasons one to four of this charming murder mystery drama? Teaming up with DI Geordie Keating, the pair solved crimes in their sleepy 1950s town - before Tom Brittney replaced James as the local vicar, Will Davenport.

WATCH: Grantchester says goodbye to James Norton

He revealed that he moved from the role after it was no longer a challenge, explaining to Digital Spy: "It was a world I had come to know, and inevitably you begin to learn less. Whilst it was the happiest time I've ever had on any set, I realised that it was probably going to lead to being less challenged."

james norton grantchester© Photo: BBC


The English-raised son of a member of the Russian mafia, Alex has attempted to spend his life building a reputable life for himself, away from his family’s history. However, when the past comes back to haunt him, he is forced to confront his values to protect those he loves. Although the show only lasted one season, it made a lasting impact on viewers and had a passionate fanbase.

mcmafia© Photo: BBC

The Trial of Christine Keeler

In this true story, James plays Dr Stephen Ward, who famously hosted parties that led Christine Keeler - who had previously had affairs with prominent members of the Soviet Union - to have an affair with Conservative MP John Profumo.

christine keeler© Photo: BBC

Black Mirror: Nosedive

James appeared in one of the thought-provoking (and always creepy) episodes of the hit Netflix series, Black Mirror. In the episode Nosedive, he plays Bryce Dallas Howard’s brother. While Lacie is obsessed with her ranking - as everyone in the world can rank you for anything - he thinks the whole thing is stupid, and deliberately gives her a one-star review after a fallout - becoming the catalyst for her breakdown.

james norton nosedive© Photo: Netflix

MORE: Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire is a blonde bombshell in slinky wedding dress

READ: Happy Valley fans convinced they've worked out plot after latest cliffhanger

A Little Life

Why watch James on television if you can see him in a play? The actor will be starring in the much-anticipated adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling novel A Little Life. The show will be performed at the Harold Pinter Theatre from March. So what is it about? The story follows the lives of four friends with a focus on Jude, who struggles with debilitating mental and physical struggles due to his troubling past.

james norton little life© @alittlelifeplay

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