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Based around the life of Anne Lister (played by Suranne Jones), a unique 19th century British figure who kept extensive secret diaries and lived an openly lesbian lifestyle in the days before the term even existed, the show became the BBC’s best launch for a new drama this year, the first episode peaking at 5.6 million viewers.
A Lookout Point production, the second season will again use the real-life diaries of Lister, part of which were written in code, as its source, with every part of Lister’s story based on historical fact and the 5 million words she wrote in her journals.
“It’s so exciting that so many people have had such a positive response to Suranne’s exuberant performance as the brilliant, life-affirming Anne Lister and to Sophie [Rundle]’s beautiful performance as her courageous partner, Ann Walker,” said Wainwright. “I’m utterly delighted that we’ve been recommissioned, because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker. A massive thank you to the BBC and HBO and to everyone at Lookout Point.”
Added Jones: “I’m so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne’s journey. We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out.”
Gentleman Jack was recommissioned by Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, and Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama. Executive producers are Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester for Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for BBC One. The first series was directed by Wainwright, Sarah Harding and Jennifer Perrott, produced by Lookout Point for BBC One, and co-produced with HBO. The producer is Phil Collinson.
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