Suranne Jones To Lead Historical Drama Gentleman Jack

BBC One has announced that Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) will lead new eight-part drama Gentleman Jack, written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley), based on the remarkable diaries of 19th century landowner Anne Lister.

Set in 1832, Anne returns after years of exotic travel and social climbing to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall in Halifax. To do this she must re-open her coal mines and marry well. But charismatic, swash-buckling Anne Lister plans to marry a woman, and it must be someone who is wealthy.

The drama will explore Anne Lister’s relationships at home with her family, her servants, her tenants and her industrial rivals, who will use any dirty tricks they can to bring her down… and its heart is her relationship with her would-be wife, the wealthy heiress Ann Walker.

Suranne Jones says: “I first worked with Sally 10 years ago and I remember the feeling of reading her scripts like it was yesterday. They were scripts for women; fresh, daring and bizarre in a wonderful, modern, fun, complex and challenging way. Now I once again get to speak the words of an almighty talent on a show I know she holds close to her heart.”

Gentleman Jack, which will be directed by Sally Wainwright, begins filming in Yorkshire next year. Anne’s story was previously adapted for BBC Two in 2010 as TV movie The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, which starred Maxine Peake and Anna Madeley.