We're used to seeing her as a hard-nosed detective in Scott and Bailey, or the vengeful Dr Gemma on Doctor Foster, but now Suranne Jones is in the midst of a brand new type of role, and it's nothing like we've ever seen her do before.
The actress has just starred in the first season of BBC series, Gentleman Jack, has adventuress Anne Lister. The eight-part series tells the tale of the feisty character of Anne in 19th century Yorkshire, as she enters a relationship with another women.
The show’s first season saw Anne, who lives at Shibden Hall, develop her relationship with heiress Ann Walker (played by Sophie Rundle) – and explains how they kept their love secret for fear of judgement.
Throughout the season, the couple faced judgement, with Suranne’s character being beaten up for their relationship.
Eventually however, Ann and Anne married, ending the season happily – although wary of what their future would hold, at the time.
What will season two Gentleman Jack be about?
Speaking to Digital Spy, creator of the Gentleman Jack Sally Wainwright shared an insight into the second season.
She revealed, “They move into Shibden together in series two and it’s about how they negotiate their married life, conspicuously in public, and how they deal with their detractors and the effect that has on their relationship as well,”
And, on the topic of any further seasons, Sally revealed that there’s no end to where the series could go…
“Obviously we’ve got season two, which is fantastic, and I hope it will continue on after that,” she explained.
“There’s no end of stories, the diaries, this huge wealth of knowledge.”
Details of Anne’s life also reveal that the landowner travelled extensively throughout her life – notably, on her honeymoon with Ann. She also went on a groundbreaking trip in 1839, shortly before her death – both of which could likely be covered in coming seasons of the show.
So what is Gentleman Jack about?
Suranne’s period drama, which was originally called Shibden Hall, is set within the prolific Regency era, when King George III’s son Prince Regent reigned as a proxy in place of his father, who was thought to be unfit for the job. At the time, Regency women flourished, in the age of upper-class society culture.
But the real-life character of Anne Lister was unlike the women of the time. Suranne has been portraying a women who didn’t care for social norms, and who often dressed like a man – as displayed in the photo preview.
It’s a character unlike Suranne has ever played before – but of course, the actress has done a brilliant so far of portraying the iconic character.
In fact, TV fans have been loving the series, and have been full of praise for both the cast and the true-to-life storyline.
What’s the real story behind the character of Anne Lister?
The real story comes from an extensive set of diary entries written by Anne herself, which were actually penned in a secret code – a combination of algebra and Ancient Greek. They were only decoded in the 1930s, some ninety years after Anne passed away.
The plot of the series explores Anne’s relationship with Ann Walker in a time where same-sex relationships weren’t accepted in society.
In fact, Anne was widely considered to be the ‘first modern lesbian’. Of course, we’re sure this isn’t factually true, but the title highlights how she was regarded in society at the time.
So until season two of Gentleman Jack airs, what other brilliant programmes have we seen Suranne in before?
Suranne Jones TV shows…
Who could forget where this star of the screen really started? Suranne played the villanious Karen McDonald for four years, before leaving on Boxing Day after a spat with her on-screen husband Steve.
Another of Suranne’s big hits was the fabulous ITV drama Unforgiven, where Suranne played Ruth Slater, a woman found guilty of murdering two police officers as a teenager, who has recently been released. The series ran for three episodes.
Scott & Bailey
The hugely popular Scott & Bailey saw Suranne team up with friend Lesley Sharp, to portray the ups and downs of detectives Rachel Bailey and Janet Scott. The programme back in 2011 on ITV, and ended in 2016. The programme was massively well received, drumming up high viewing figures (8.2 million for its first episode), and winning a legion of fans.