Gentleman Jack (TV series)

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Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack.jpg
Created bySally Wainwright
Written bySally Wainwright
Directed by
  • Sally Wainwright
  • Sarah Harding
  • Jennifer Perrott
Theme music composerMurray Gold
Ending theme"Gentleman Jack" by O'Hooley & Tidow[1]
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Sally Wainwright
  • Faith Penhale
  • Laura Lankester
ProducerPhil Collinson
  • Matt Gray
  • Nick Dance
  • Simon Chapman
Camera setup
Running time60 minutes
Production companyLookout Point
Original network
Picture format2:1 HDTV
Original release22 April 2019 (2019-04-22) –
External links
Production website

Gentleman Jack is a historical drama television series created by Sally Wainwright.[a] Set in the year 1832 in Yorkshire, it stars Suranne Jones as landowner and industrialist Anne Lister. The series is based on the collected diaries of Lister, which contain over four million words and are written largely in secret code, documenting a lifetime of lesbian relationships.[4][5]

Gentleman Jack is a BBC One and HBO co-production.[6] The series premiered on 22 April 2019 in the United States,[7] and in the United Kingdom on 19 May 2019.[8] It was renewed for a second series by BBC One on 23 May 2019.[9] Production on the second series, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumed in October 2020.[10] It then shut down again and resumed filming in the summer of 2021. Suranne Jones confirmed the series wrapped filming Season 2 in October 2021.[11] Season 2 is set to be released in Spring 2022, but no official date has been confirmed.


Set in 1832, the brilliant, endearing Miss Anne Lister leaves Hastings brokenhearted and heads to the lush landscape of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England to restore her uncle's estate that she has inherited. While restoring the estate she finds that the family land has a coal mine and finds that it is being stolen by two brothers. This newly instated, unusual lady landowner and landlord encounters a potentially blossoming and dangerous romance with another woman, which she records in a cryptic diary that no one can decode.

Cast and characters



  • Stephanie Cole as Aunt Ann Walker
  • George Costigan as James Holt, who works for Anne Lister and helps with managing her coal business
  • Peter Davison as William Priestley, Ann Walker's cousin and one of the trustees of her entailed estate
  • Shaun Dooley as Jeremiah Rawson, Ann Walker's cousin and Christopher Rawson's brother
  • Vincent Franklin as Christopher Rawson, a magistrate and Ann Walker's cousin
  • Lydia Leonard as Marianna Lawton, Anne Lister's ex-lover with whom she occasionally sleeps
  • Katherine Kelly as Elizabeth Sutherland, Ann Walker's sister who lives in Scotland with her husband and children
  • Amy James-Kelly as Suzannah Washington, eldest daughter of Samuel Washington
  • Thomas Howes as John Booth, head gardener for the Listers
  • Albane Courtois as Eugénie Pierre, Anne Lister's femme de chambre or French lady's maid
  • Ben Hunter as Joseph Booth, the Lister's manservant and brother of John Booth
  • Daniel Weyman as Dr Kenny, the local doctor for Ann Walker, Aunt Anne Lister, Capt. Jeremy Lister and Henry Hardcastle
  • John Hollingworth as Mr Abbott, Marian Lister's suitor
  • Saul Marron as James Mackenzie, Ann Walker's manservant



No.TitleDirected byWritten byUS air dateUK air dateUS viewers
UK viewers
(millions) [12]
1"I Was Just Passing"Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright22 April 2019 (2019-04-22)19 May 20190.441[13]6.70
In 1832, worldly Anne Lister returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire after her former lover, Vere Hobart, leaves her to marry a man. Taking over the management of her family's ancestral home Shibden Hall, Lister discovers that not only has the estate been neglected and the rents uncollected, but there is considerable coal on the property that could be mined at great profit. A chance meeting introduces her to the shy but wealthy heiress Ann Walker, who lives nearby.
2"I Just Went There To Study Anatomy"Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright29 April 2019 (2019-04-29)26 May 20190.437[14]5.88
Anne Lister begins a dangerous venture of courting Ann Walker. Meanwhile, Lister continues to fight the Rawson brothers for coal and enlists the help of Mr. Washington to claim her money. After learning of Eugénie's pregnancy, John Booth decides to assist her in concealing her secret. After attending the wedding of Vere Hobart, Lister feels closure and begins her pursuit of Ann Walker to the Lake District.
3"Oh Is That What You Call It?"Sarah HardingSally Wainwright6 May 2019 (2019-05-06)2 June 20190.338[15]5.70
Anne and Miss Walker's relationship begins to become intimate. Anne proposes a future with Miss Walker of them living together as a married couple. Miss Walker responds by saying they should wait six months before committing. The Rawson brothers try to outmanoeuvre Anne in the coal business by making a low offer. Mr. Booth proposes marriage to Eugénie to protect her honour. Feeling powerless, Marian threatens her sister by marrying a man to bear a male heir and challenge the ownership of Shibden. Anne realises Sam Sowden arrived to work drunk and dismisses him. Sowden's drunken threats force Thomas to take him home and tie him up. Later on, Thomas feeds him to the family pigs.
4"Most Women Are Dull and Stupid"Sarah HardingSally Wainwright13 May 2019 (2019-05-13)9 June 20190.427[16]5.94
Mrs. Priestly develops grave concerns over Ann's newfound love with Anne Lister. After news of Mrs. Ainsworth's death, Ann suffers a bereavement as her secret begins to unravel. Anne continues to deal with the Rawson brothers in a fight to reclaim what they have stolen. After a proposal of an engagement from the newly widowed Reverend Ainsworth, Ann must make a decision. Eugénie suffers a miscarriage and calls off her engagement with John Booth, much to his dismay. Thomas feigns ignorance with his family and others regarding the death of his father and fears for his tenancy.
5"Let's Have Another Look at Your Past Perfect"Jennifer PerrottSally Wainwright20 May 2019 (2019-05-20)16 June 20190.362[17]5.59
Reverend Thomas Ainsworth travels to Halifax and sets his sights on Ann Walker. Hearing of Ainsworth's arrival, Miss Lister sets out to deal with him in her own way. While Anne Lister proposes marriage to Miss Walker, Mrs Priestley spreads vicious statements about Anne Lister's character and her being a lesbian to Miss Parkhill, which ultimately leads to Ann Walker's detriment. Thomas Sowden's mother comes to the realisation of Sam Sowden's mysterious disappearance. Ann Walker fights and struggles to reconcile her desire for Anne Lister with the mix of her family's expectations and her faith eventually leading to Ann vociferously shunning Anne. In an attempt to keep Lister away from Walker to stop her from taking Ann's money to sink her coal-pits, Christopher Rawson sends a thug to beat up and intimidate Anne.
6"Do Ladies Do That?"Jennifer PerrottSally Wainwright27 May 2019 (2019-05-27)23 June 20190.499[18]5.82
Anne returns to Shibden after having been beaten and laments over her loss of Ann. Thomas Sowden begins his own courtship over Suzannah Washington despite class restraints. Ann Walker's mental state takes a turn for the worse as she struggles to reconcile her homosexuality with her religious beliefs. Anne struggles with her desire to help Ann while balancing her coal ventures. John Abbott is twice invited to tea at Shibden, but Anne refuses to meet him each time, much to Marian's chagrin. Anne writes to Ann's sister and husband in Scotland, who decide that Ann should stay with them. Anne implores Ann to stay with them to recuperate. Before Ann departs, she once again refuses Anne's marriage proposal.
7"Why've You Brought That?"Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright3 June 2019 (2019-06-03)30 June 20190.270[19]5.45
Thomas Sowden visits Suzannah's father and asks for her hand in marriage. Anne confronts Christopher Rawson over his disrespectful treatment of Marian. Offering the deeds to Shibden Estate as collateral, Anne takes out a loan to finance the sinking of a new coal pit. Her former lover Marianna Lawton joins her in London. Heartbroken over Ann Walker's rejection, Anne implores Marianna to leave her husband and come to live with her at Shibden. Miserable and alone, Anne continues her journey to Paris. Meanwhile, Ann Walker's mental health deteriorates further while staying in Scotland with her relatives, and she deeply gashes her hand from shattering a glass.
8"Are You Still Talking?"Sally WainwrightSally Wainwright10 June 2019 (2019-06-10)7 July 20190.365[20]6.14
The sinking of the coal pit runs into unexpected financial problems, putting ownership of Shibden Hall at risk. While Anne is enjoying herself in Copenhagen and socialising with the royal court, she is summoned home after receiving a letter that her Aunt may die of gangrene. Meanwhile, Ann Walker leaves Scotland, much to the chagrin of Captain Sutherland. Ann Walker meets with Anne Lister, and says that she is ready to marry her. Lister takes Walker to the church where they take the sacrament together, and Ann agrees to move into Shibden Hall. Meanwhile, Thomas Sowden marries Suzannah Washington, but his uncle's presence at the wedding reveals to Washington's father that the uncle had not written a letter saying Sam had moved to America.

Background and production

In November 2016, screenwriter Sally Wainwright was awarded the £30,000 screenwriting fellowship grant from the charitable organisation the Wellcome Trust, in partnership with Film4 and the British Film Institute.[21] Wainwright disclosed to the media that she was writing a drama series about the landowner, industrialist, and intellectual Anne Lister and would use the grant to further her research.[22] In March 2017, it was announced that BBC One and American network HBO had commissioned the eight-part series, provisionally titled "Shibden Hall", after Lister's ancestral home of the same name.[4] Wainwright was announced as the series' director, and executive producer together with Piers Wenger and Faith Penhale.[4] A native of Yorkshire, Wainwright had grown up in the environs of Shibden Hall and had had ambitions to write a drama based on Anne Lister for over 20 years.[4][23] She described Lister as "a gift to a dramatist" and "one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history".[4]

In July 2017, the series was renamed Gentleman Jack and Suranne Jones was announced in the protagonist role of Lister.[24] Wainwright, who had previously worked with Jones in Scott & Bailey and Unforgiven,[25] deemed her capable of embodying the "boldness, subtlety, energy and humour" required to depict Lister.[26] In April 2018, Sophie Rundle joined the production as Ann Walker, Lister's intended spouse.[27]

In November 2018, Katherine Kelly was cast in the role of Ann Walker's sister, Elizabeth Sutherland, Sofie Gråbøl as Queen Marie of Denmark and Tom Lewis as Thomas Sowden.[28]

The series' ending theme song "Gentleman Jack" was written, and is performed, by O'Hooley & Tidow. It was first released in 2012.[1][29]


Shibden Hall was the historical home of Anne Lister and used as the filming location

Location shooting took place in Yorkshire and surrounding areas, including Shibden Hall as Anne Lister's home and Sutton Park, Yorkshire as Ann Walker's home.[30][31]

The final scenes of series one were shot in Goodramgate and Precentor's Court.[32] Duncombe Place, Minster Yard and High Trinity Church were used earlier in the series.[33]


BBC One released a teaser trailer for the series on 8 March 2019,[34] followed by the first official trailer on 18 March 2019.[35][36] The first trailer from HBO was also released on 18 March 2019.[37]


Gentleman Jack premiered first in the US on 22 April 2019;[38][7][39] followed by the UK premiere on 19 May 2019.[40][8] The series premiered in Australia on Fox Showcase on 19 May 2019.[41]


The Hollywood Reporter described Gentleman Jack as a "funny, smart, and touching story" which at times has the main character talk to the camera to explain her inner thoughts, allowing aspects of Lister's diary to be used.[42] The Guardian review said "Suranne Jones rocks Halifax as the first modern lesbian...Anne Lister's diary [becomes] a thrilling coal-town romp that flirts with parody, so maybe it's Queer Brontë."[43] Variety pointed up the drama's uniqueness: "Wainwright makes an intriguing choice that sets up a decidedly adult romance about devotion, trust and partnership that is rare for TV in general, let alone for lesbian characters in a period piece."[44]

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
2019 Gentleman Jack TVTimes Award for Best Actress[45] Won
TVTimes Award for Favourite Drama[45] Won
2020 National Television Award for Best Drama Performance[46] Nominated
National Television Award for New Drama Nominated
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actress[47] Nominated
Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor – Female[48] Nominated
Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series[49] Won
British Academy Television Award for Best Actress [50] Nominated
British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series[50] Nominated


The series tie-in paperback was released on 25 April 2019 by BBC Books in the United Kingdom under the title Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister; and on 4 June 2019 in the United States by Penguin Random House as Gentleman Jack: The Diaries of Anne Lister.[51][52] The book is authored by Anne Choma, who served as the historical adviser for the series.

See also


  1. ^ Gentleman Jack: The Life and Times of Anne Lister – The Official Companion to the BBC Series was published in 2019 alongside the programme.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b Smith, Neil (5 July 2019). "Gentleman Jack gives folk duo a boost". BBC News. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  2. ^ Lister, Anne; Wainwright, Sally; Choma, Anne (2019). "Gentleman Jack:The Life and Times of Anne Lister – The Official Companion to the BBC Series" (PDF). London: Ebury Publishing. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019. [PDF p.32]
  3. ^ Lister, Anne; Wainwright, Sally; Choma, Anne (2019). Gentleman Jack: The Life and Times of Anne Lister the Official Companion to the BBC Series. ISBN 9781785944048. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Media Centre (5 March 2017). "BBC One and HBO announce original new drama series Shibden Hall from award-winning writer Sally Wainwright" (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  5. ^ Crampton, Caroline (5 December 2013). "The lesbian Dead Sea Scrolls: Anne Lister's diaries". New Statesman. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  6. ^ Deehan, Tom (30 April 2018). "BBC/HBO series, Gentleman Jack, to film in the UK and Denmark". The Location Guide. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b "HBO/BBC Drama Series GENTLEMAN JACK, Created, Written and Directed by Sally Wainwright, Debuts April 22 on HBO" (Press release). New York, NY: WarnerMedia. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (2 May 2019). "BBC One Sets UK Premiere Date For 'Gentleman Jack'". TV Wise. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  9. ^ Media Centre (23 May 2019). "Gentleman Jack to return for a second series, following its hugely successful debut on BBC One" (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Shibden Hall now closed for filming of Gentleman Jack series 2".
  11. ^ "Login • Instagram". Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Four-screen dashboard: Broadcaster groups and channels: BBC: BBC 1: Four Screen Viewing". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB). Retrieved 16 July 2019. (website navigation required)
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (23 April 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.22.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 23 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  14. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (30 April 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.29.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  15. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (7 May 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.6.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  16. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (14 May 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.13.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  17. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (21 May 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.20.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  18. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (29 May 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 5.27.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  19. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (4 June 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.3.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  20. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (11 June 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 6.10.2019". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on 14 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Sally Wainwright awarded Screenwriting Fellowship". Wellcome Trust. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  22. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (24 November 2016). "Sally Wainwright to write show about diarist Anne Lister for BBC". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  23. ^ Birnbaum, Debra (4 March 2017). "HBO, BBC One Order 'Shibden Hall' From Sally Wainwright". Variety. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  24. ^ Petski, Denise (19 July 2017). "Suranne Jones To Star in Sally Wainright Drama Series For HBO & BBC One". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  25. ^ Gove, Ed (5 April 2017). "Happy Valley's Sally Wainwright: "I write people I want to be, not who I am"". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  26. ^ Media Centre (20 July 2017). "Suranne Jones to star in Gentleman Jack, Sally Wainwright's new drama for BBC One and HBO" (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  27. ^ Petski, Denise (26 April 2018). "'Gentleman Jack': Sophie Rundle, Gemma Whelan, Timothy West & Gemma Jones To Co-Star in BBC-HBO Series; Full Cast Set". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  28. ^ Media Centre (19 November 2018). "Katherine Kelly and Sofie Gråbøl join Sally Wainwright's BBC One drama Gentleman Jack, as a new image of Suranne Jones as Anne Lister is released" (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  29. ^ Ballinger, Lauren (12 March 2019). "Watch theme song for Gentleman Jack written by Huddersfield folk duo". Examiner Live. Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  30. ^ Newton, Grace (20 May 2019). "Where was Gentleman Jack filmed? Yorkshire filming locations at Shibden Hall and elsewhere for Anne Lister series". i. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Shibden Hall". Screen Yorkshire. 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  32. ^ "How York reacted to finale of Gentleman Jack on BBC"The Press, 9 July, 2019
  33. ^ "VIDEO: Crowds at York Minster to watch filming of Gentleman Jack"The Press, 8 November, 2018
  34. ^ "Gentleman Jack: Teaser Trailer". BBC One Trailers. BBC. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  35. ^ Munn, Patrick (18 March 2019). "BBC One Releases Trailer For 'Gentleman Jack'". TV Wise. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  36. ^ "BBC One releases trailer for Gentleman Jack". Isle of Wight County Press. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  37. ^ Greene, Steve (18 March 2019). "'Gentleman Jack' Trailer: HBO/BBC's Period Tale of Lesbian Rebel Anne Lister". IndieWire. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  38. ^ White, Peter (18 March 2019). "HBO To Launch Suranne Jones Period Drama 'Gentleman Jack' On April 22 in New Monday Slot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  39. ^ "HBO/BBC Drama Series Gentleman Jack, Created, Written and Directed by Sally Wainwright, Debuts April 22 on HBO" (Press release). New York, NY: WarnerMedia. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  40. ^ @BBCOne (2 May 2019). "The one-of-a-kind Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) is on a mission to marry a seriously wealthy woman. In the mid-19th century. #GentlemanJack, by Sally Wainwright (@spiceyw), starts on Sunday 19th May on BBC One and @BBCiPlayer" (Tweet). Retrieved 5 May 2019 – via Twitter.
  41. ^ "Drama series Gentleman Jack debuts on Fox Showcase May 19". Mediaweek. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  42. ^ Goodman, Tim (15 April 2019). "'Gentleman Jack': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  43. ^ Mangan, Lucy (19 May 2019). "'Gentleman Jack' review". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  44. ^ Framke, Caroline (19 April 2019). "'Gentleman Jack'". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  45. ^ a b "TVTimes Awards 2019". TVTimes. London, England: TI Media. 7 December 2019.
  46. ^ Harp, Justin (7 January 2020). "National Television Awards 2020 shortlist is in – with Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders and Ant & Dec in the running". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 7 January 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  47. ^ Kanter, Jake (13 February 2020). "'Fleabag' & 'Chernobyl' Battle For Broadcasting Press Guild Awards".
  48. ^ "Nominations announced for the RTS Programme Awards 2020". Royal Television Society. 3 March 2020.
  49. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2020". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  50. ^ a b "BAFTA TV 2020: Winners of the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Television Craft Awards". 3 June 2020.
  51. ^ Choma, Anne (2019). "Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  52. ^ Choma, Anne (2019). "Gentleman Jack: The Diaries of Anne Lister". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 1 March 2019.

External links