Everyone’s Talking About…Gentleman Jack | What’s On TV 15 June 2019

As period drama Gentleman Jack (Sunday, 9pm, BBC1) continues, we reveal five things you may not know about the series…

Secret diary

The diary of real-life lesbian landowner Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) inspired it, and historical advisor Anne Choma decoded extracts for the first time for the series. ‘A sixth of the diary is coded – the bits Anne didn’t want people to see, like her love life!’ says Anne.

Shaggy dog story!

Argus, Anne Lister’s Scottish deerhound, is played by Rhodry, whose other TV credits include Victoria. Rhodry also works as a therapy dog visiting schools to support children’s reading.

Location, location

Many scenes were shot at the real Shibden Hall, but Crow Nest, the home of Ann Walker (played by Sophie Rundle) was demolished, so Sutton Park was used. ‘It was lovely as it was massive and Shibden was a bit cramped,’ says writer Sally Wainwright.

Costume drama

Suranne suffered for her art in Anne’s costume. ‘I got welts on my skin because of the corset,’ she says. ‘So our costume designer found a mesh corset that gave me leeway to bend and stretch!’


Although a stuntwoman was used in some scenes where Anne Lister drives a carriage, Suranne loved getting stuck in, too. ‘I was taught some whip action,’ she says. ‘I just clambered up and down in that carriage like it was mine.’