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TV viewers upset by 'mumbling' in Happy Valley's return

(Image credit: BBC/Red Productions)

TV viewers have complained about the 'shocking' sound quality on BBC1 drama Happy Valley.

The first episode of the long-awaited second series was trending on Twitter on Tuesday night with people referring to 'mumbling' and inaudible dialogue.

#HappyValley Shocking sound BBC. Hard to follow the mumbling. Please sort this out. Great start though.

— Ibrahim Banks (@TheShowOff85) February 10, 2016

 

It is not the first time a BBC show has faced criticism of this nature, as hundreds of people complained about the sound in Jamaica Inn and crime drama Quirke in 2014.

The first series of Happy Valley captured the imagination of viewers, drawing an impressive consolidated audience of 7.8 million for its series one finale.

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley (Ben Blackall/BBC/Red Productions)

 

And while the latest episode of the show has been met with similar praise, it appears to have been marred by viewers’ problems with the sound – and even the suggestion that subtitles were needed.

Twitter user Ibrahim Banks wrote: “Shocking sound BBC. Hard to follow the mumbling. Please sort this out. Great start though.”

He added: “Just watched Happy Valley should be called ‘happy mumblers’, needed subtitles on.”

#HappyValley just watched happy valley should be called 'happy mumblers', needed sub titles on.

— Ibrahim Banks (@TheShowOff85) February 10, 2016

Mario Fretti wrote: “Again a good show is spoilt by the sound, too much whispering and mumbling.”

#bbc #happyvalley, again a good show is spoilt by the sound, too much whispering and mumbling ….

— Mario Fretti (@mazfrets) February 10, 2016

Another Twitter user called Kez wrote: “Stayed up to watch Happy Valley after a night out. So glad it’s back but had to turn volume right up to decipher mumbling.”

Stayed up to watch Happy Valley after a night out. So glad it's back but had to turn volume right up to decipher mumbling. #TurningIntoMyMum

— Kez (@kjbkjb) February 10, 2016

The downbeat drama, written by Last Tango In Halifax’s Sally Wainwright, sees James Norton reprise his role as psychotic Tommy Lee Royce.

Set in the Yorkshire Valleys, it stars Sarah Lancashire as Tommy’s nemesis, police sergeant Catherine Cawood.

@BBCOne Loved Happy Valley, would be even better if I could hear it ! Here we go again .#audio #mumbling

— sue saunders (@florencef1) February 9, 2016

In 2013, BBC director-general Tony Hall said the corporation could look at how to stop actors 'muttering' in its TV dramas.

“I don’t want to sound like a grumpy old man, but I also think muttering is something we could have a look at,” he said.

“Actors muttering can be testing – you find you have missed a line – you have to remember that you have an audience.”