28/02/2017 10:35 GMT | Updated 28/02/2017 10:38 GMT

'Broadchurch' Series 3 Episode 1: Julie Hesmondhalgh's Performance Receives High Praise From Viewers

Warning: Contains mild spoilers.

‘Broadchurch’ may have only aired one episode of its new series, but already fans are calling for Julie Hesmondhalgh to clean up at the next TV awards. 

The former ‘Coronation Street’ actress won high praise for her portrayal Trish Winterman, the victim of a rape, as the hit ITV drama returned for a new series on Monday (27 February) night. 

Julie Hesmondhalgh's in performance in 'Broadchurch' has been highly praised

In harrowing scenes, Trish reported a violent sexual attack to police officers DI Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Miller (Olivia Colman), as drama showed the reality of the procedures rape victims go through in the immediate aftermath. 

Viewers were moved by Julie’s powerful performance, with many on Twitter claiming it was worthy of awards. 

Of course, this is not the first time Julie’s acting skills have been recognised, as she won praise for her final ‘Coronation Street’ storyline, which saw her character Hayley Cropper complete suicide, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

She later won an RTS Award for Best Performance In A Continuing Drama and a National Television Award for Best Serial Drama Performance as a result. 

Julie recently spoke of the importance of the ‘Broadchurch’ rape storyline, admitting it forced her to address her own “internalised misogyny”.

Julie plays rape victim Trish Winterman

“I’m an ordinary-looking, middle-aged woman, rather than the classic ‘young girl being chased through the woods’ - I think that in itself is quite an interesting take on it,” she said at a press event earlier this month.

“I had to look at some of my own internalised misogyny really, because I had fears that the audience wouldn’t buy that this could happen to someone like me.

“But obviously this isn’t an act of sex and desire, it’s an act of violence and it happens to all people - men, women and children.”

‘Broadchurch’ continues next Monday at 9pm on ITV. 

  • Rape Crisis services for women and girls who have been raped or have experienced sexual violence - 0808 802 9999
  • Survivors UK offers support for men and boys - 0203 598 3898
Photo gallery Broadchurch Series 3 See Gallery