Gentleman Jack is set to return to our screens this weekend and it’s been a long wait for fans.
The period drama follows the story of real life lesbian landowner and diarist Anne Lister, who is played by Suranne Jones. It’s based on the Halifax business woman’s life in 1800s Yorkshire, who embarked on a dangerous romance with another woman. So far, we know that Anne and her partner, who is played by Peaky Blinders star Sophie Rundle, exchanged vows in a private ceremony and the newlyweds will be settling down at Anne’s ancestral home of Shibden Hall, as she refuses to keep a low profile with Halifax is on the brink of a revolution.
With the eager anticipation of the show’s return, it left fans clamoring to know more about the leading lady herself Suranne Jones. With many of her perhaps recognizing her from her time on Coronation Street, there’s plenty to know about the Manchester born star’s career so far.
Read more: Gentleman Jack’s Suranne Jones on ‘coming home to Yorkshire’ as cast meet fans on red carpet
Suranne’s rise to fame, her real name and her biggest roles to date
Born in Chadderton, Manchester, the now-43-year old first rose to fame with her role as Coronation Street’s Karen McDonald. When she began her career, she made the decision to have a ‘stage name’.
Born Sarah Anne Jones, her father did want to call her Suranne but the Catholic family were advised by their priest that it wasn’t a “proper name”. However, when she began acting professionally and went to join the trade union Equity, she decided to adopt Suranne as her stage name de ella, due to her birth name de ella already being taken.
Technically, her first role was at the age of nine in the play Wait Until Dark and her television career didn’t begin until 1997. She had a small role in Coronation Street initially, playing Mandy Phillips, a girlfriend of Chris Collins. She went on to secure a large role in Corrie as Karen McDonald for four years but before that, she was snubbed by Emmerdale. She auditioned for Charity Dingle and was one of the final four considered for the part before it was eventually given to Emma Atkins.
Since leaving the soaps behind, Suranne has made a name for herself in theater, appearing on the West End stage with big names like John Barrowman. Alongside that, she’s become well known for her roles in hard-hitting dramas. Appearing in dramas like Doctor Foster, Vigil and Scott & Bailey, she now hosts a whole range of awards including TV Choice, National Television Awards and Royal Television Society’ ‘best actress’ prize.
Who is her husband and does she have children?
Suranne’s husband is screenwriter and producer Laurence Akers who she met back in 2013. They supposedly met at the wedding of former co-star and Corrie legend Sally Lindsay and married themselves just a year later.
The pair don’t really talk about each other in public but Suranne did mention her partner on The Jonathan Ross Show in 2017. At the time, she was starring in Doctor Foster, playing a GP whose husband was cheating. She said: “I certainly wouldn’t give my husband, sorry Laurence, the opportunity for us to move on. Not [after] two years. He had a whole separate life going on in the show. I think I’m clean cut, if you want to be with someone else, be with someone else.”
The two do share a son but have chosen not to reveal his name or share any photos of him. They are also thought to own two dogs.
Suranne’s unusual phobia, mental health battle and heartbreaking reason she won’t be watching Gentleman Jack.
Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones has opened up about the difficulties she faced on set whilst filming season two of the hit period drama after the loss of her father and revealed she suffered with severe anxiety. In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the Anne Lister actress revealed that her dad, Chris Jones, tested positive for coronavirus a week into filming for the new series and tragically died following a three month stint in hospital.
The actress explained that while she and her brother, Gary, weren’t able to visit their dad while he was in intensive care due to coronavirus restrictions, they were given the opportunity to say their goodbyes shortly before he passed away in January last year.
Speaking on Gaby Roslin’s podcast, Suranne confessed she found it difficult to adjust back into ‘normal life’. She said: “I suffer with anxiety anyway. I didn’t know what the right thing to do was. When you are on set… and this still applies, the restrictions are really in place. Even when people were coming out of the restrictions.I was still in this bubble where everyone was still wearing masks and we were being very cautious.
“People were giving each other space. We were in a strict Covid testing regime. A few weeks ago I finished filming Gentleman Jack. It made me anxious to see everyone wandering around without masks on. I didn’t know how to fit in. “
She has also previously shared how she suffers from carpophobia – a fear of wrists. She thinks it stems from childhood visits to church and seeing imagery of Jesus on the cross. She told the Mirror: “I hate wrists. Growing up as a Catholic girl, seeing Jesus on the cross with the stigmata has made me not like wrists. You can see people’s veins.”
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