Gentleman Jack: When does it start? Who is in the cast? Everything you need to know

Period drama with a twist is coming to Sunday nights on BBC One as Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright and Suranne Jones bring us a surprising modern tale of 19th century intrigue.

If you think you’ve watched just about all the Sunday evening bonnet drama you can handle, Gentleman Jack offers a refreshing take on the genre.

Written by Happy Valley’s Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack tells the story of 19th Century wealthy Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister and her detailed diary of lesbian affairs.

Here’s all you need to know about when it’s on TV and who will star in the cast.

When is Gentleman Jack on TV?

The eight-part series begins on Sunday, May 19 at 9pm on BBC One.

US viewers have had a head start on the series, as it began airing on HBO in America on April 22.

Is there a trailer?

Get a taste of what’s to come in the series with this first-look Gentleman Jack trailer.

You’ll see Suranne Jones throwing herself into the main part of Anne Lister, replacing the usual period drama frock and petticoats with a sharp suit.

What is it about?

Drama queen Sally Wainwright, the woman behind Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax, has adapted the story of Anne Lister and her diaries dating from the 19th Century.

Anne was a wealthy Yorkshire landowner, who detailed her lesbian romances and heartbreaks in her extensive diaries over her life.

[Read more: Suranne Jones on playing Anne Lister]

Gentleman Jack follows Anne from the age of 41, in 1832, a few years before she inherited her crumbling ancestral home Shibden Hall from her aunt.

Freshly heartbroken from a potential love that saw the object of her affections turn out not to be interested in women, Anne moves back to Halifax and sets her sights on local woman Ann Walker, who she decides to marry.

Anne also has the mammoth task ahead of her of transforming the fortunes of Shibden Hall – something that she is more than cut out for as a highly intelligent woman and astute business person.

But Anne’s industrial rivals are keen to bring her down and she must keep her relationships a closely guarded secret because of the age that she lives in.

Who stars in it?

Starring as Anne Lister is Suranne Jones, best known for her roles in Doctor Foster, Scott & Bailey, and Coronation Street.

On being cast as the lead, Suranne said: “I first worked with Sally 10 years ago and I remember the feeling of reading her scripts like it was yesterday. They were scripts for women; fresh, daring and bizarre in a wonderful, modern, fun, complex and challenging way. Now I once again get to speak the words of an almighty talent on a show I know she holds close to her heart.”

Joining her is Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders, Bodyguard, Dickensian) as Anne’s new love and wealthy heiress Ann Walker.

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Katherine Kelly (Cheat, Coronation Street) plays Ann’s sister Elizabeth Sutherland, and Sofie Grabol (The Killing, Fortitude) will appear in later episodes as Queen Marie of Denmark.

Gemma Whelan (The Moorside, Game Of Thrones) will play Anne Lister's sister Marian, with Timothy West (Last Tango In Halifax, Bleak House) as their father Jeremy Lister, and Gemma Jones (God's Own County, Bridget Jones’s Diary) as Aunt Anne Lister.

Stephanie Cole (Waiting For God, Still Open All Hours) will play Ann Walker’s aunt. Peter Davison (Liar, Doctor Who) and Amelia Bullmore (Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey) will play William and Eliza Priestley, Ann Walker's cousin and his wife. Christopher Rawson, businessman and fierce rival to Anne Lister, will be played by Vincent Franklin (Cucumber, Happy Valley), whilst his brother and business partner Jeremiah will be played by Shaun Dooley (Gunpowder, Broadchurch).

Derek Riddell (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Gunpowder) has been cast as Elizabeth’s husband Captain Sutherland, and Veronica Clifford (Hurt By Paradise, GameFace) as mother-in-law Mrs Sutherland.

Gentleman Jack begins on Sunday, May 19 at 9pm on BBC One.

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