FANS of Happy Valley have been left convinced that they have worked out a hidden link between evil Tommy Lee Royce and the allusive Neil.

Viewers of the acclaimed BBC drama were left stunned to discover that Neil had been taking Ryan (Rhys Connah) to visit his criminal father in a prison in Sheffield for over a year.

Neil told his partner Clare, played by Siobhan Finneran, about the prison visits who agreed to keep quiet about it to her sister and Tommy's arch-nemesis, Catherine (Sarah Lancashire).

But now fans have begun to speculate there is more to Neil and Tommy than meets the eye.

Neil's backstory has been left largely untouched apart from that he is a recovering alcoholic who suffered a marriage breakdown and lost some access to his children as a result of a downward drinking spiral caused by his affair and subsequent blackmail from Vicky Flemming.

Viewers have not been made aware of any further details of Neil's past and his history with Vicky only came to light when he confessed to Clare that he knew her after she was killed by John Wadsworth.

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Now fans have theorised that Neil could in fact be the father of Tommy Lee Royce which would explain the unusual dynamic between the pair.

Tommy has never known his father and Catherine's attempts to discover who he was in the second series following his mother Lynn Dewhurst's death proved to be unsuccessful.

Despite having been partnered with Clare for seven years, it appears that she has no awareness of who his children are prompting more speculation that the 'limited access' he has to his children could actually be as a result of Tommy being in prison, should he turn out to be his son.

Whilst the theory could seem rather wacky at first, fans on Twitter have been left consumed by the thought that this could actually be true and that it could be the next main twist and turn in the show.

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One user suggested Neil did not merely 'bump' into Clare in the last series, saying: "Neil is a wrong un, there’s something not right there. I’m thinking he didn’t bump into Clare by accident all that time back."

When Neil took Ryan to the prison, fans were also concerned by the way Tommy spoke to him.

He told him to 'fetch the tea and biscuits' in a rather unusual manner – however, this could be down to the familiarity between the pair thanks to the prison visits.

Another unsolved mystery that has left fans pointing the finger at Neil, is the text left on Tommy's prison mobile.

One fan said of the phone: "Neil sending Tommy this little phone? It's not Clare, I don't think she would message Tommy also the style of the message. I feel it is someone close to Tommy…Neils's past is very much blurred what if they were friends what if they are….family."

Tommy also managed to 'get the word' to Ryan that he had moved prisons to Sheffield through another unexplained medium – could it all be down to Neil?

Fans have been left craving for more with the third and final series so far proving more eventful than ever.

During the latest episode, fans were left stunned as Faizal murdered Joanna in shocking scenes.

It comes as fans were left heaping on the praise of the show following the intense showdown when Catherine confrotned Clare at the coffee shop.

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