‘Last Tango In Halifax’ creator is writing a new period drama for the BBC

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.

The book The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is available to buy on Amazon.

Suranne Jones returns to the BBC this autumn in the second season of Doctor Foster.