BBC releases first look at Suranne Jones in new series of Gentleman Jack

The actress returns to play Anne Lister in the historical drama.
The actress returns to play Anne Lister in the historical drama.

The BBC has shared a first look at Suranne Jones as she reprises her role for the second series of the historical drama Gentleman Jack.

The award-winning TV show, created by Sally Wainwright, is returning for another eight episodes after a successful first run on BBC One.

Jones plays Regency landowner Anne Lister, who is regarded as the “first modern lesbian”.

Gentleman Jack
The series is returning for another eight episodes (BBC/Lookout Point/HBO/Aimee Spinks)

The series is a dramatisation based on Lister’s diaries, which were part-written in a cryptic code.

Series one followed Lister’s life as she inherited her uncle’s fading estate, Shibden Hall in Halifax, which she attempted to restore while beginning a romance with Ann Walker, played by Sophie Rundle.

The forthcoming episodes will pick up in Yorkshire in 1834 as all eyes turn to Lister and Walker as they set up home together at Shibden Hall as wife and wife, determined to combine their estates and become a power couple.

However, Lister’s entrepreneurial spirit frightens the locals as much as her love life and, with Halifax on the brink of revolution, her refusal to keep a low profile becomes provocative and dangerous.

The newly released teaser images show Jones and Rundle now living their married life.

Gentleman Jack
Gemma Whelan returns as Marian Lister (BBC/Lookout Point/HBO/Aimee Spinks)

Gemma Whelan, who plays Marian Lister, and Lydia Leonard, who portrays Mariana Lawton, also appear in the new selection of photos.

Actress Joanna Scanlan can also be seen for the first time as she joins the cast as Lister’s outrageous former lover Isabella ‘Tib’ Norcliffe.

Also returning to Shibden Hall for series two are Gemma Jones as Aunt Anne Lister and Timothy West as Jeremy Lister.

They will be joined by many other returning cast members including Jodhi May, Katherine Kelly, Derek Riddell, Stephanie Cole and Peter Davison.

Amelia Bullmore, Vincent Franklin, Shaun Dooley, Rosie Cavaliero, Joe Armstrong, Anthony Flanagan and George Costigan are also set to reprise their roles.

Gentleman Jack
Actress Joanna Scanlan joins the cast (BBC/Lookout Point/HBO/Sam Taylor)

The first series of the period drama was a hit for BBC One and iPlayer, averaging 6.8 million viewers across its eight-episode run, according to the broadcaster.

It went on to win the Royal Television Society best drama series award in 2020 and also received Bafta nominations for best drama, as well as a leading actress nod for Suranne Jones’s performance.

The new series is written by Wainwright, who also acts as an executive producer alongside Jones and Faith Penhale and Will Johnston for production company Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for BBC One.

Edward Hall, Amanda Brotchie and Fergus O’Brien will direct.

Gentleman Jack will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Spring.