Without the following individuals, creatives and artists, none of us in the Ann(e)dom would be here. This page is dedicated to recognizing their work, and offering and extending our thanks and gratitude to them all.
It goes without saying that when it comes to Gentleman Jack and it’s creation, the TV gods were clearly smiling down on us all. Indeed when Gentleman Jack was released in the Spring of 2019 these mighty beings simply called ‘time out’ and had an almighty party in the sky to celebrate the creation of TV perfection.
The exquisite combination of Sally Wainwright’s writing and the acting skills of Suranne Jones in bringing the story of Anne Lister to life has to go down as one of the greatest meetings of creative minds and acting talent ever.
The story goes that Suranne Jones was at a Buckingham Palace event in London just hours before her audition and presented herself for the reading in an elegant dress, high heels and makeup. What a moment this must have been for Sally Wainwright to finally meet her Anne Lister.
What sprang from the writing of Sally Wainwright is utter perfection. The deliberate use of the 4th wall break, is so cleverly slipped in between lines of dialogue brimming with comic touches, dramatic flashes and romantic interludes. The scripts themselves reveal the unseen world of stage direction, character evolution and setting. These scripts are exquisitely bought to life, and reveal all the romantic and intimate gestures and deep levels of poignancy that have charged so many of the iconic scenes from Gentleman Jack that are known and so loved today.
Sally’s genius move however has to be the decision to incorporate Anne Lister’s diary entries (her words) into the scripts. Coupled with the 4th wall breaks, our connection with Anne Lister was immediate and will indeed last forever.
What Suranne Jones gives the audience as Anne Lister is a performance of colossal presence and importance. A talented and enduring acting figure in the U.K. for decades, Suranne Jones has surely made the leap to world wide stardom with her turn as Anne Lister. A performance of dynamic gestures and verbal and physical gravitas; presenting a woman of superior intellect and a compelling personality- a true force of nature.
For many, Suranne Jones is Lister, her face etched on numerous murals, mugs, flags and tea towels. Her place as an ally of the LGBTQI community is forever set and will surely influence generations to come.
In hindsight it is clear that without one or other of these individuals involvement, Gentleman Jack simply would not have had the impact it has had - not only on the TV landscape, but on artists, writers and communities across the world. Their meeting of minds that day at audition has made TV history and spurned ‘the Gentleman Jack effect’ (as it is affectionately known). It has (they have) changed peoples lives - it is as simple as that. Sally Wainwright created Gentleman Jack. Suranne Jones is Gentleman Jack
When it comes to casting choices, Gentleman Jack hit another home run with the casting of Sophie Rundle. What Ms Rundle brings to the screen with her performance of Ann Walker is nothing short of miraculous. A performance which hides layers of character nuance and personality which is slowly revealed throughout season one and two. From the naïve, inexperienced, mentally unstable woman we meet in season one, to an Ann Walker growing in confidence within herself and the world in season two. Ann Walker’s character development over two seasons is probably the most dramatic, but none of it feels forced or sensational, and that is all down to Sophie Rundle.
With so much creative quality to talk about when it comes to Gentleman Jack, Sophie’s fabulous chemistry with Suranne Jones seems to be one of the last things that many people talk about (though of course they do). Gentleman Jack has brilliant writing, costumes and design - the on screen production is like an onion, if you peel back the layers, you see quality running right the way through it. However none of this would have mattered without plausible, credible chemistry between the characters of Anne Lister and Ann Walker. The TV Gods smiled on us again - they gave us Sophie Rundle.
It’s probably true that fans of Gentleman Jack
had never heard of O’Hooley and Tidow before; but this English folk music duo from Yorkshire are now musical legends in their own lifetimes having contributed the fabulous closing theme song to Gentleman Jack.*
They are the reason for our favourite TV show’s brilliant title.
The reason why we all probably started to use the word ‘jaunty’ in our daily lives.
The reason why the Ann(e)dom worldwide all collectively grimace, because the start of the song means the end of an episode.
The reason why we gleefully watch Gentleman Jack right to the very end of the credits. (Such actions causing a social media storm in the U.K. at one point, when the BBC announcer started to speak over the song - the BBC listened and never did it again).
The reason why when we think of the TV show Gentlemen Jack, we can never not think of O’Hooley and Tidow.
*The song Gentleman Jack was originally released in 2012 as a track on O’Hooley and Tidow’s second album The Fragile.
Founded in 1922, the BBC is the worlds oldest national broadcaster. Technical innovation and broadcasting quality have been the central focus of its mission since it's inception. It’s broad spectrum of programming supports an ever growing and diverse and multifaceted community; not only in the U.K. but around the world. The BBC has always been at the forefront of original programming and services, firstly using radio, then television and now the internet and on demand services to inform, educate and entertain.
In many ways the choice of the BBC to commission Gentleman Jack in 2019 seemed an obvious one. Period drama has been a staple if it’s drama output for decades. Yet in hindsight, what a truly bold and audacious move it was for the ‘granddaddy’ of broadcasting to support the creatives behind Gentleman Jack, which told the story of Anne Lister - ‘the first modern lesbian’ - period drama, yes, but not as we would know it. Like Anne Lister herself, Gentleman Jack broke the mold, and it is clear that without the BBC’s visionary support we would not have Gentleman Jack, the ‘Gentleman Jack effect’, and millions of lives changed for the better.
Distinctive, ambitious and unique in its scope and narrative, Gentleman Jack was always going to be a perfect fit for Lookout Point, one of the UK’s leading television producers. Established in 2009, (a wholly owned subsidiary of BBC Studios), and drawing on over a decade of experience, Lookout Point has worked with a variety of international producers and distributors to produce television content of the highest order, including Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, War and Peace and Ripper Street. HBO, Netflix and Amazon Studios to name but a few, have all benefitted from Lookout Point’s wisdom and visionary endeavours and participation. The Ann(e)dom are hoping that Lookout Point continue to ‘look out’ for further collaborative opportunities to keep the Gentleman Jack dream alive and well. The world is watching and waiting..
HBO is the oldest and longest continuously operating subscription television service in the United States. A pioneer and world leader in the field of subscription television, it’s output has expanded rapidly since the service was launched in 1972. It’s reputation for allowing programme creators to maintain full creative autonomy over its original programming has led to the development, financing and promotion of some of the most popular and original television series of recent years - Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Wire, Six Feet Under and of course Gentleman Jack. HBO’s support during its first two seasons has allowed Gentleman Jack to be seen around the world, no doubt contributing to the Gentleman Jack Effect, which continues unabated to this very day. Although sadly HBO has withdrawn its financial support for the series, it’s role in introducing Anne Lister and her diaries to the world (through Gentleman Jack) can never be forgotten.
Discuss The Importance Of Gentleman Jack
I’d like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those involved in the creation of Gentleman Jack. I remain at the bottom of the Gentleman Jack rabbit hole, which I purposely fell into along with millions of others, circa 2019. We all tried and failed to crawl out of it while waiting for season two, but like many will remain here waiting patiently for season three drinking tea with the Mad Hatter and swapping top hat stories.
To The Finest Cast And Crew Of Gentleman Jack:
A BIG thank you to all. You are the heart and soul of this drama. Your creativity, dedication and commitment has been a source of inspiration to many. There is just so much to be learned from her. The story of Anne Lister must continue.
I am not very good with words but wanted everyone involved with Gentleman Jack to know how much I love the show; all of the actors (big parts and small!!), the writing, the music, the photography, the costumes and all of the unsung heroes behind the scenes!! I've watched each episode dozens of times. I know scenes by heart. I see my life there in the happy episodes. I see my life in the sad ones too. I can never convey what that means, how special.
We are working hard to save the show and I hope all of you can be a part of season 3 when we do!
Thank you thank you!
Mille Grazie to the Cast & Crew of Gentlemen Jack
To Suranne & Sophie - An infinite number of thanks to two of the world’s most brilliant actresses for stepping into these roles of Anne Lister and Ann Walker. You’ll never truly know the depth of gratitude, love and meaning we feel from your portrayals and just how important they are. Mucho love & respect 🙌🏻
To Sally Wainwright & the crew - Excellence personified. I’m in awe of your work. Thank you!
To the rest of the cast - I hope you feel it as much as we do…that you made magic and your talents were always highly appreciated and loved!
To the Cast & Crew of Gentleman Jack,
What a gift you have given us all. It is impossible to know how to put a proper thank you together, but I hope it comes through in each message, piece of art, video, event, (etc. etc.) that this beautiful community has produced. It is why we are fighting so hard each day to help the world understand why we need more of our beautiful show. This show has absolutely changed my life. It has made me reflect on so many parts to my own life, from my sexuality, to my gender identity, my mental health, to my relationship with my family. Even though the Ann(e)s story is almost 200 years old, I have never felt such closeness to queer characters I have seen on TV, and it is so special to see our history so beautifully represented.
Suranne, your portrayal as Anne Lister is so beyond. She has encouraged me to have so much more confidence in myself, in dressing how I want to dress, and presenting myself how I want to, not how the world expects me to, even if that isn’t always very feminine. She has helped me reconcile the opinions of some members of my family who feel my wife and I shouldn’t be married because they believe it goes against God. Hearing Anne Lister say that she is simply acting in her nature as God made her was so profound for me, and I will be forever grateful.
Sophie, thank you for bringing the beautiful, sweet, strong, brave Ann Walker back to life for us all. Ann and her journey are so special to me and resonate so deeply within me. There are still so many times I struggle with internalized stigma and judgment, because that’s what the world has taught me. Ann’s own struggles with this throughout her life are so relatable, but it also gives me so much strength and perspective, that I am so grateful for. Another huge piece for me is Ann’s mental health journey. I struggle with my own mental health, and this piece of representation has been so important to me as well. Watching how brave and resilient Ann Walker is always reminds me that those of us who often doubt ourselves the most, are often the ones who are the strongest, and most resilient. Thank you for always bringing such compassion, honesty, and strength to Ann’s journey. She is such an inspiration and her story means so much to me.
Thank you all for telling this amazing story in such a bold, beautiful way. We want to see the rest of the story and will do whatever we can as fans to show the world how important it is to continue. It means more to us all than you know.
Faithfully and affectionately,
I would like to thank everyone responsible for their parts in giving the world this remarkable series. Bringing the stories of Anne Lister and Ann Walker—whose family attempted to erase her from history—has been an incredible gift. You’ve provided me with a show that valorizes my experiences as an older lesbian, as well as being something I can watch over and over again. On every viewing there’s something new to discover. The care with which you made this show shines through in every part of it: the writing, the acting, the directing, the costumes, the hair styles, the make-up, the locations, and everything else. Thank you, Sally Wainwright, Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundell, Gemma Whelan, Gemma Jones, Timothy West, and every single actor, director and crew member who worked on this show. I will be forever grateful for what you gave us with your work, especially considering the struggles to get Season 2 made during the pandemic. Suranne and Sophie, your portrayals of Anne Lister and Ann Walker are two of the most remarkable performances I’ve ever been privileged to see. I cannot express my appreciation enough. To Sally Wainwright thank you for the incredible persistence and dedication you showed in bringing this incredible story to our screens. The brilliance of this production and your writing has rarely been equaled on TV.
With profound thanks,
First, I'd like to thank the brilliant woman who made it all happen, Sally Wainwright. Sally, your dedication to shine a light on Anne Lister and her story is so admirable. Gentleman Jack is a labour of love, and you can feel it from the beginning of the very first episode. The sheer quality of the show, and the care taken with every character is astonishing. Thank you for never giving up. And now, we won't, either.
Thank you to cast and crew, for the wonderful job you've done. From the incredible costumes and hair & makeup that immediately transport you to the time period, to gorgeous cinematography, amazing score, fantastic directing, editing, set design... And, every character played brilliantly, no matter how "small" a part. You all made this world real, colourful, something you can get lost in.
And lastly, I want to thank our incredible leading ladies. Suranne and Sophie, words can't express how grateful I am to you, and all you've done. You brought this story to life. Your portrayal of Anne Lister and Ann Walker is unlike anything I've ever seen, you embody these characters. You make us feel every emotion possible right alongside them. You make us root for them and their love. And, you do it all with such grace on and off screen. Even thorough difficult times, you pushed through to bring this story to us. I will forever be grateful. And, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being allies, for respecting and caring about our community. It means more than I can say. Thank you both, so much.
Dear Gentleman Jack Cast and Crew:
Thank you for your dedication in crafting this incredible piece of television. Thank you also for your attention to historicity in telling the story of Anne Lister and Ann Walker. I am so grateful for the 16 episodes (so far!); each one is a little masterpiece. The costume design, cinematography, set design, and music all perfectly fit around the powerhouse performances from the cast. It’s so clear that all involved in the production care about this project. Your artistry is on full display for millions of fans worldwide. And what an impact it has made on me - just a regular girl living in a small town thousands of miles away from England and hundreds of years removed from Anne and Ann. That’s powerful. You’ve changed my life for the better and you have my undying gratitude and respect. We will Save Gentleman Jack. Faith is all.
I just want to thank Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle for bringing back to life Anne Lister and Ann Walker, they really did play their parts outstandingly, thank you for being our gay allies and being a voice for the lgbtqia community. I will always appreciate that so much, I know it wasn't easy filming in the pandemic either, so I wanted to say a massive thank you and Suranne Jones you had me crying in some of the scenes, with your phenomenal acting, that hill top scene where you ask Ann walker to marry u again, that got me very emotional and the scene's where you had to go to church to watch Vere Hobart, Anne Lister ex getting married that had me very emotional, and Sophie you had me laughing with some of the scenes where you would just burst out laughing, when Ann shouldn't of been laughing in serious situations, but you had me crying as well when u was crying getting confronted by Anne Lister, and how Ann's family treated Ann in the show... I also wanted to say a massive thank you to Sally Wainwright for bringing Anne Lister out of the diaries, and bringing Anne and Ann to our screens. I really admire your work, you've done for Gentleman Jack, thank you for giving us this show and I really appreciate how you've represented the lgbtqia community, but one thing I would like to say Sally is that I won't ever stop trying to get this show back on TV, you've spent so much time with this show getting it all together doing your research and I really appreciate that and admire you for that, we know how much Anne Lister means to you. Sally we will fight until the end for this show, and not give up you got our backs, and we shall keep fighting for Gentleman Jack to come back, so you can complete Anne's diary it shouldn't go back into the walls it should be open. Thank you Sally for showing us who Anne is because a lot of us wasn't aware of Anne or Ann at the time at all. We shall keep fighting until we get our voices heard, never give up ever it may take some but we will do this I'm positive.