Last Tango in Halifax

Loud and proud: Gentlemen Jack creators celebrate the drama's success

O’Hooley & Tidow , Anne Choma, Sally Wainwright and Dr Finn Mackay (Credit: Dee Robertson)

Gentleman Jack wowed critics and audiences alike when it aired on BBC One earlier this year. This was a Sunday-night period drama with a difference – based on the diaries of early 19th-century landowner, industrialist and traveller Anne Lister, it revealed a woman determined to explore her lesbian sexuality.

Sophie Rundell joins Suranne Jones in Sally Wainwright drama Gentleman Jack

Jones stars as remarkable Regency landowner Anne Lister in the BBC One drama, which will hit screens in 2019.

Speaking to the RTS in 2017, Wainwright spoke of her attraction to the project. “[She was] this extraordinary woman who lived in Halifax in the 1820-30s. She did some extraordinary things at a time when women just weren’t allowed to do anything really.”

Happy Valley's Sally Wainwright: "I write people I want to be, not who I am"

The screenwriter received the Judges’ Award among others at the RTS Programme Awards 2017 for her “outstanding contribution to the UK’s television and media industry.”

“I feel very lucky that I have been able to achieve my ambitions and been able to do the things that I want to do,” she says humbly.

She is humble too about her past achievements: Baftas, RTS Awards, TV Choice Awards, Broadcast awards and more litter the shelves of her study in her Cotswold home.

“It’s nice to be recognised,” she says.

The trials and tribulations of production design

The Last Tango in Halifax cast (Credit: BBC)

Since graduating with a degree in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent university, Tuxford has gone on to work for shows including Last Tango in Halifax, Life on Mars and Channel 4 comedy Cardinal Burns.

The job of a production designer, she says, is far-reaching. From finding locations for the shoot, deciding on the visual tone of the piece, and managing the design budget, “you have your eyes all over it.”

“Ultimately you are responsible for every design decision and every visual decision, so the buck stops with you.”

Watch: Expert tips on entertainment, journalism, documentaries and drama

Speakers included Sally Wainwright, creator and writer of Happy Valley; Rohit Kachroo, ITV News Security Editor; documentary filmmaker Rowan Deacon and Suzy Lamb, Head of Entertainment at Thames TV.

We've rounded up the very best of the day's tips in the video below.

Sally Wainwright to tell story of the Brontes

To Walk Invisible will star Jonathan Pryce as the novelists' father, and reunite Happy Valley actors Charlie Murphy and Adam Nagaitis as sister and brother Anne and Branwell Bronte. 

"I am such an admirer of Sally Wainwright that if she were filming the phone book I would want to be in it!" said Pryce. "Her film will be a characteristically honest look at the whole Bronte family."

Why diversity makes business sense for TV

Making Diversity Pay

The economic arguments for diversity came under the microscope at a lively joint RTS/BBC session held at New Broadcasting House last month. The panellists agreed that, following years of inaction, broadcasters are finally making an effort to boost black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) represen­tation in television.