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Suranne Jones, Sally Wainwright And Sophie Rundle In Halifax
Suranne Jones, Sally Wainwright and Sophie Rundle. Photo by Stu Johnson Photography
The red carpet was rolled out last night in Halifax as writer/director Sally Wainwright and cast members Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle were in town for the Yorkshire premiere of new BBC One drama Gentleman Jack.

An audience of members of the public, specially invited guests and members of the cast and crew were treated to a sneak preview of the first episode of the eight-part series at Square Chapel Arts Centre. The screening was hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live Drive presenter Anna Foster and was attended by over 200 people. Over 10,500 had applied for tickets which were allocated via a random draw.

Joining Suranne, Sally and Sophie on the red carpet was actress and patron of The Square Chapel Arts Centre, Natalie Gavin. Natalie plays Alice Hardcastle in Gentleman Jack and recently appeared in series five of Line of Duty.

After the screening there was a live performance from local folk band O’Hooley and Tidow who played the theme music to Gentleman Jack followed by a Q&A. Sally Wainwright, Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle were in conversation with Anna Foster about the production process and historical research behind the show, before taking questions from the audience.

Radio 5 Live presenter Anna Foster talks to Sally, Suranne and Sophie. Photo by Stu Johnson Photography
Gentleman Jack tells the story of Halifax landowner Anne Lister. It was filmed at Shibden Hall in Halifax and various other West Yorkshire locations, including Sowerby Bridge, Huddersfield, Batley, Bradford and Leeds.

The BBC drama is written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) and stars Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Save Me) as Anne Lister and Sophie Rundle (Bodyguard, Peaky Blinders) as Ann Walker, the wealthy heiress who Anne Lister soon sets her sights on marrying.

Set in West Yorkshire in 1832, Gentleman Jack is based on the true story of Anne Lister. Returning after years of exotic travel and social climbing, Anne determines 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, single-minded, swashbuckling Anne Lister has no intention of marrying a man. True to her own nature, she plans to marry a woman. Not just any woman: the woman Anne Lister marries must be seriously wealthy.

Gentleman Jack is a remarkable and unlikely love story, set in the complex, changing world of Halifax - the cradle of the industrial revolution. The drama explores 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. At its heart is Anne's relationship with her would-be wife, Ann Walker (Rundle).

Gentleman Jack is a Lookout Point production for the BBC, co-produced with HBO. Faith Penhale, Laura Lankester and Ben Irving are executive producers, alongside Sally. The producer is Phil Collinson.

The first episode of the eight part series will be shown at 9pm on Sunday May 19th on BBC One.

Suranne Jones, Sally Wainwright And Sophie Rundle In Halifax, 10th May 2019, 11:34 AM