Anne Lister

New documentary Gentleman Jack Changed My Life coming to BBC One

The drama follows Anne Lister, dubbed “the first modern lesbian” for having the courage to love and live openly with Ann Walker in the 19th century.

Since first airing in 2019, the series has inspired many to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery, reassessing their sexuality and coming out to themselves, their children, parents and grandparents.

Emma Loach, BBC Commissioning Editor, says: “It has been so exciting to hear the positive impact that the story of Anne Lister has had on so many people around the world.

BBC sets air date and releases trailer for Gentleman Jack series two

There are also new images of Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle and Lydia Leonard as characters Anne Lister, Ann Walker and Mariana Lawton.

Set in 1834, the series will return to Yorkshire where the newly wedded Lister and Walker are making a home together at Shibden Hall.

The two aim to combine their estate in the hope of becoming a power couple, but Lister’s entrepreneurship frightens the locals as much as her unconventional love life. And as Halifax is on the brink of revolution, her high profile endangers them both.

Suranne Jones on Gentleman Jack, Jane Couch and singing ABBA for binmen

“I was a bit talkative and mischievous in school,” she says, “and one of my teachers said to my Mum, ‘there’s this theatre workshop where she could go to...expel her extra energy.’” 

In Gentleman Jack, Jones brings a bountiful energy to the role of Lister, who, often described as the first modern lesbian, had to constantly draw on hers to overcome the pervasive inequalities of the era.