Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones will lead the cast of the BBC’s new period drama series from the creator of Last Tango In Halifax and Happy Valley.
Gentleman Jack, a co-production between the BBC and HBO, will be created, written and directed by Sally Wainwright.
Suranne Jones has previously worked with Wainwright on the pair’s hit crime drama series Scott & Bailey.
Here she’ll be playing Anne Lister, the remarkable landowner who – after years of exotic travel and social climbing – returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall.
Jones commented: “I first worked with Sally ten 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.
“To have Sally direct me on this feels like I’ll finally get to work on a project with her where the connection will be immediate, exciting and new each day, and we can enjoy that amazing ride together!”
Writer Sally Wainwright added: “I am delighted to be working with Suranne once again, not just as a writer this time, but as a director. Bringing Anne Lister to life with all her complexity, passion, brilliance and wit is an epic challenge that will require all the boldness, subtlety, energy and humour that I know only Suranne will bring to it.”
The eight-part series will begin filming next year.
Before then, Suranne Jones returns to the BBC this autumn in the second season of Doctor Foster.