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Meet the cast of BBC One's Gentleman Jack season 2

Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle and Gemma Whelan star in BBC drama Gentleman Jack, which has returned for a second run.

Gentleman Jack
BBC
Published: Monday, 11th April 2022 at 4:32 pm

Suranne Jones is back on our screens with gusto, reprising her role as the fourth-wall breaking, real-life landowner and diarist Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack season 2.

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Cast members Sophie Rundle and Lydia Leonard are also reprising their roles as Ann Walker and Marian Lawton, respectively.

Season 2 might begin with wedded bliss, with Anne preparing to live with Ann at Shibden Hall as wife and wife, and combine their estates.

But disaster soon strikes as Anne’s former lover Lawton makes a dramatic return, forcing Anne into a love triangle and, as the Gentleman Jack season 2 trailer teases, putting the couple’s romance to the test.

Alongside returning old favourites, fans can expect exciting cast additions in season 2, namely Anne’s outrageous former lover Isabella ‘Tib’ Norcliffe (Joanna Scanlan), who certainly looks set to spice things up further.

So, who stars in Gentleman Jack season 2? Here’s the full cast list…

Gentleman Jack season 2 cast: Who stars in BBC drama alongside Suranne Jones?

Suranne Jones plays Anne Lister

Who is Anne Lister? The strong-willed lead of the series, Lister is the Gentleman Jack, the nineteenth-century Yorkshire landowner who was renowned for breaking social norms of the time.

Her four-million-word diary – which the drama quotes verbatim at points – documented her lesbian relationships, extensive travelling and renovation of ancestral home Shibden Hall. Lister was called Gentleman Jack by her neighbours as an insult, mocking her masculine appearance and interest in women.

The character is quite the enigma, according to Jones. “She is a noble, unlikable, flawed, beautiful. True to herself. Harsh to herself (and to others). She's a perfectionist. She is a self-educator. She is an amazing lover. And there's a joyfulness about her love of women,” she explained to RadioTimes.com. "But yet there's such a sadness when her heart gets broken – and it gets broken a lot. She is a carer. She's funny. A bit mean. And she's very bloke-ish but sensitive. She's everything. And getting to play all those things and yet find a constant was the difficult thing.”

What else has Suranne Jones been in? Perhaps best known for her BAFTA-winning lead role in Doctor Foster, Jones first came to fame as Karen McDonald in Coronation Street from 2000-4. Since leaving the soap she’s also starred in the likes of Scott & Bailey, Unforgiven, A Touch of Cloth, Save Me, The Crimson Field and Vanity Fair.

Sophie Rundle plays Ann Walker

Sophie Rundle plays Ann Walker in Gentleman Jack

Who is Ann Walker? Walker is a wealthy heiress who lives in Halifax and is seduced by Lister – but not for romance’s sake (at least at first).

“[Lister] sets her sights on Anne Walker because she was rich,” explains Sally Wainwright. “Actually, Ann Walker was her match. [She] was quite damaged and fragile. She had a lot of sadness in her life. But she had a real core of steel inside her.”

What else has Sophie Rundle been in? Her biggest role so far was in hit BBC One drama Bodyguard, where Rundle played Vicky Budd, wife to Richard Madden’s David. Rundle has also played Ada Shelby for all six seasons of Peaky Blinders, and appeared in The Bletchley Circle, Happy Valley, Jamestown, Dickensian and Brief Encounters.

Gemma Whelan plays Marian Lister

Gemma Whelan as Marian Lister in Gentleman Jack

Who is Marian Lister? Marian is Anne’s younger sister. She’s concerned by the repercussions of Anne’s eccentricities, including her sibling's administration of the family estate.

As we see in the series trailer, Marian berates Anne for undertaking a “man’s job” and frowns on how her sister “always manages to become the topic of any given conversation."

What else has Gemma Whelan been in? The actress and comedian is best known for playing Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones, but she’s also enjoyed roles in Upstart Crow, Uncle and The Agency, and has starred as Karen Matthews in The Moorside and police officer Eunice in The End of the F***ing World.

Lydia Leonard plays Marianna Lawton

Marianna in Gentleman Jack

Who is Marianna Lawton? Anne Lister's long-term lover. The two met in their early 20s and began a love affair, but Anne was heartbroken when Marianna married a man, destroying her hopes that they could build a future together. Despite Marianna's marriage, the two now continue to visit each other, and remain close confidantes – but their relationship is also fraught with the pain of Marianna's decision to marry another.

What else has Lydia Leonard been in? Her screen credits include Absentia, Quacks, and Apple Tree Yard. You may also have heard her voice in video games from Total War: Warhammer II to Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal Throne.

Stephanie Cole plays Caroline Walker

Stephanie Cole plays Caroline Walker in Gentleman Jack

Who is Caroline Walker? Caroline is aunt to Ann Walker, Anne Lister’s love interest.

What else has Stephanie Cole been in? Best known for playing Joan Norton in ITV drama Doc Martin, Cole has also appeared as Mrs Featherstone in Open All Hours, Sylvia Goodwin in Coronation Street and Nesta in Man Down. Other credits include Tenko, A Bit of a Do, Keeping Mum and Waiting for God.

Timothy West plays Jeremy Lister

Timothy West plays Jeremy Lister in Gentleman Jack

Who is Jeremy Lister? Anne’s elderly father, Jeremy Lister spent his youth in the army, fighting for the British during the American Revolution. He had four sons before Anne and Marian, but they all died at a young age. Rebecca Battle, mother of all the children and wife to Jeremy, died in 1817.

Jeremy doesn’t have an easy relationship with his eldest daughter. “I think he has a very hard time understanding the nature of Anne's relationships. He's sympathetic but doesn't really know what it's all about,” West explained to RadioTimes.com. “He will help Anne when she's trouble. And he is very pleased when he sees her delight when things are going well between her and Ann Walker.”

What else has Timothy West been in? Throughout his lengthy career on stage and screen, West has enjoyed roles in EastEnders (as Stan Carter), Not Going Out (Geoffrey) and Coronation Street (Eric Babbage).

He also starred in Last Tango in Halifax, another drama penned by Sally Wainwright. He is married to Fawlty Towers actress, Prunella Scales, with whom he has two sons – including actor Samuel West. The couple appear together on Channel 4's Great Canal Journeys.

Gemma Jones plays Aunt Anne Lister

Gemma Jones plays Aunt Anne Lister

Who is Aunt Anne Lister? Aunt Anne Lister is Jeremy’s sister and – you guessed it – Anne Lister’s aunt. And the two don’t only share a name, but a loving relationship. “I knew Anne since she was a little girl,” Jones told RadioTimes.com about her character. “She's referred to as her favourite aunt and they're very close and she's very devoted to her and loves her dearly and is quite un-judgmental. I'm very defensive and loyal. And the bottom line is that I want people to accept who she is and for her to be happy."

What else has Gemma Jones been in? Jones’ biggest roles have been in Emma Thompson’s Oscar-winning Sense and Sensibility adaptation, Bridget Jones's Diary and its sequels (in which she played Bridget's mother) and Harry Potter (Madam Pomfrey). She also won a Bafta TV Award for 2015's Marvellous. Interestingly, she's already played Aunt Anne Lister in 2010 BBC drama The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, which starred Maxine Peake as the titular diarist.

“It was very well done and Maxine Peake was splendid playing Anne Lister, but my character didn't have a great deal to do,” explained Jones. “It was an enjoyable job, but [Gentleman Jack] is more complex and interesting.”

Joanna Scanlan plays Isabella ‘Tib’ Norcliffe

Gentleman Jack - First Look
Aimee Spinks/Lookout Point/ BBC/HBO

Who is Isabelle 'Tib' Northcliffe? A new character for season 2, she is described as Anne's "outrageous former lover".

Where have I seen Joanna Scanlon before? Most recently she played Ma Larkin in The Larkins, and is likewise known for roles in The Thick Of It (as Terri), Girl with a Pearl Earring, Hold the Sunset, The Accident, No Offence, The Woman in White, and Getting On.

Katherine Kelly plays Ann's sister Elizabeth

Katherine Kelly plays Ann's sister Elizabeth Sutherland in Gentleman Jack

Who is Elizabeth Sutherland? Ann Walker's older sister. She now lives in Scotland with her husband Captain Sutherland and their young children.

What else has Katherine Kelly been in? After six years starring as Becky in Coronation Street, Katherine Kelly moved over into TV drama – playing Lady Mae in Mr Selfridge, Jodie Shackleton in Happy Valley, the Permanent Secretary in The Night Manager, Jane Lowry in Strike Back, and Miss Andrea Quill in Doctor Who spin-off Class. Most recently she starred in the ITV thriller Cheat, playing university academic Leah.

Derek Riddell plays Captain Sutherland

Derek Riddell plays Captain Sutherland in Gentleman Jack

Who is Captain Sutherland? Ann Walker's brother-in-law, and Elizabeth's husband. He and his mother have previously tried to secure Ann's vast fortune for their family by marrying her to a relative.

What else has Derek Riddell been in? Scottish actor Derek Riddell has recently starred as Chris Brooks in Shetland, Torquil Travers in Harry Potter movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and DCS Roland Bell in Hard Sun. His other credits include W1A, The Missing, Mary Shelley, Gunpowder, Undercover, and Happy Valley.

Sofie Gråbøl plays Queen Marie of Denmark

Sophie Grabol plays Danish Queen Marie in Gentleman Jack

Who is Queen Marie of Denmark? In real life, Marie Sophie Frederikke of Hesse Kassel was Queen Consort of Denmark and Norway, having married Frederick VI. Anne Lister met her during her stay in Copenhagen, attending at Court and as a guest to the Queen's birthday party.

What else has Sophie Gråbøl been in? The Danish actress gained international fame as Inspector Sarah Lund in the TV series The Killing, a role which won her a BAFTA award. She has also starred as Hildur Odegard in Fortitude.

Joel Morris plays William Hardcastle

Joel Morris plays William Hardcastle in Gentleman Jack

Who is William Hardcastle? One of Anne Lister's most diligent and loyal tenants. His young son lost his leg in episode one in a carriage accident.

What else has Joel Morris been in? Previous credits include Stan Lee's Lucky Man, Coronation Street (as Spike), Emmerdale, and The Syndicate. He guest starred as Selwyn Garvie in the 2017 Call the Midwife Christmas special.

Rosie Cavaliero plays Elizabeth Cordingley

Rosie Cavaliero plays Elizabeth Cordingley in Gentleman Jack

Who is Elizabeth Cordingley? Cordingley is Anne Lister’s maid at Shibden Hall.

What else has Rosie Cavaliero been in? From Friday Night Dinner to Unforgotten and Little Dorrit, Cavaliero has enjoyed plenty of roles in TV comedy and drama. She’s featured in the likes of Doc Martin, Peep Show, Green Wing, Midsomer Murders, Death in Paradise.

George Costigan plays James Holt

George Costigan plays James Holt in Gentleman Jack

Who is James Holt? Anne Lister's coal steward.

What else has George Costigan been in? Line of Duty fans will recognise George Costigan as Fairbank from season 3. The actor has also starred as Nevison Gallagher in Happy Valley, Sergeant Howard Raveley in Homefront, and Charlie Haynes in Emmerdale.

Albane Courtois plays Eugenie Pierre

Albane Courtois plays Eugenie in Gentleman Jack

Who is Eugenie Pierre? Anne Lister's new French maid, who is still adjusting to her boss and her adventures.

Eugenie did actually exist – but she wasn't employed until a little later on in the story, and never crossed paths or had an affair with Anne's loyal servant George Playforth (who was, indeed, shot in the head while scaring birds out of a tree). Eugenie was recruited after an extensive search for a "clever lady's maid" who had to be "sufficiently fond of travelling to make the best of everything." Unfortunately, Anne was disappointed with her new lady's maid and they didn't immediately get on.

What else has Albane Courtois been in? On TV she was in the series Victoire Bonnot, and the film And Then I Was French.

Shaun Dooley plays Jeremiah Rawson

Shaun Dooley plays Jeremiah Rawson in Gentleman Jack

Who is Jeremiah Rawson? Jeremiah and his older brother Christopher are powerful businessmen in Halifax. The Rawson brothers are in the coal business and are keen to lease the coal at Shibden, but they have wildly underestimated Anne Lister – who will NOT be taken advantage of.

What else has Shaun Dooley been in? Recent appearances include Rev Michaelmas Whitaker in Jamestown, Sir William Wade in Gunpowder, Steve Richards in DCI Banks and DC Carl Hawkins in Cuffs.

Peter Davison plays William Priestley

Peter Davison plays William Priestley in Gentleman Jack

Who is William Priestley? Ann Walker’s cousin.

What else has Peter Davison been in? Yes, it’s the fifth incarnation of the Doctor from Doctor Who. Davison played the celery-wearing Time Lord from 1981 to 1984. Davison has also starred in Law & Order: UK as Henry Sharpe and in All Creatures Great and Small as Tristan Farnon. He's also cropped up in Holding the Fort, Sink or Swim, A Very Peculiar Practice, Campion, At Home with the Braithwaites and – more recently – Liar, Grantchester and Toast of London.

Amelia Bullmore plays Elizabeth Priestley

Amelia Bullmore plays Elizabeth Priestley in Gentleman Jack

Who is Elizabeth Priestley? Eliza is William’s wife. She regularly features in the diaries of Anne Lister as one of the author’s closest confidantes.

What else has Amelia Bullmore been in? Bullmore is known for her role in ITV drama Scott & Bailey, where she played DCI Gill Murray, and as Steph Barnes in Coronation Street. Alan Partridge fans will also know her as Sonja, Alan’s Ukraine girlfriend in BBC series I'm Alan Partridge and she has also featured in Sally Wainwright drama Happy Valley, playing Vicky Fleming. Alongside her acting work, she has penned episodes of This Life, Attachments and Scott & Bailey.

Jodhi May plays Vere Hobart

Jodhi May as Vere Hobart in Gentleman Jack

Who is Vere Hobart? In Gentleman Jack, there are flashbacks to what recently happened in Hastings when Anne Lister's latest attempt to seduce a woman went drastically wrong.

What else has Jodhi May been in? For her performance in the 1988 movie A World Apart, Jodhi May became the youngest winner of the Best Actress award at Cannes. Her other credits include The Last of the Mohicans, Sister My Sister, A Quiet Passion, Strike Back, Emma, and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard.

Vincent Franklin plays Christopher Rawson

Vincent Franklin plays Christopher Rawson in Gentleman Jack

Who is Christopher Rawson? A coal baron and businessman in Halifax, who operates less than honourably. He and his brother are interested in the coal on Anne Lister's land.

What else has Vincent Franklin been in? The actor was last seen as (bald) Mike Travis in Bodyguard, starring alongside Keeley Hawes as Julia Montague. He has also played Chris Parsons in Doct Martin, Prendergast in Decline and Fall, Andy Shepherd in Happy Valley, and Henry Best in Cucumber and Banana. Feature films include Vera Drake, The Bourne Identity, and The Riot Club.

Thomas Howes plays John Booth

Thomas Howes plays John Booth in Gentleman Jack

Who is John Booth? A servant of Anne Lister at Shibden Hall. He is a widower with a young family to bring up.

What else has Thomas Howes been in? You are most likely to remember Thomas Howes from his role as lovestruck footman William Mason in Downton Abbey. Recent appearances include Samuel Hartley in Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, George Ward in Dark Angel, and Constable Booth in Houdini and Doyle.

Joe Armstrong plays Samuel Washington

Joe Armstrong plays Samuel Washington in Gentleman Jack

Who is Samuel Washington? Anne Lister's new land steward. In the drama – as in real life – she recruits him after the illness and death of her previous steward Mr Briggs. He also manages the nearby Walker estate at Lightcliffe, and has a wife, Hannah, and a young family.

In her biography of Anne Lister, Anna Choma writes: "He was both sharply intelligent and of sound moral fibre, a characteristic that Anne looked for in all her employees. He was a skilled draughtsman, able to produce the accurate and precise estate maps that would be vital to her ambitious remodelling plans. Over the coming years, his services would become indispensable to Anne."

What else has Joe Armstrong been in? The actor starred in one of Sally Wainwright's previous shows, Happy Valley, as Ashley Cowgill. His other credits include Britannia, Darkest Hour (as John Evans), Black Mirror episode Hated in the Nation, The Village, Robin Hood (as Allan A Dale) and Land Girls.

Tom Lewis plays Thomas Sowden

Tom Lewis plays Thomas Sowden in Gentleman Jack

Who is Thomas Sowden? Sam Sowden's son. Thomas admires his landlord Anne Lister and thinks the Sowden family should do their best to stay on her good side – which brings him into conflict with his father.

What else has Tom Lewis been in? He made an appearance in the popular daytime drama Shakespeare & Hathaway.

Jessica Baglow plays Rachael Hemingway

Jessica Baglow plays Hemingway in Gentleman Jack

Who is Rachael Hemingway? A servant in the Lister household.

What else has Jessica Baglow been in? The actress starred as Karla Bentham in Waterloo Road. Her other credits include Where the Heart Is, Moving On, and Emmerdale.

Lucy Black plays Mary Sowden

Lucy Black plays Mary Sowden in Gentleman Jack

Who is Mary Sowden? Sam Sowden's wife. She has two young children to look after on the family farm.

What else has Lucy Black been in? The Durrells fans will recognise Lucy Black as Florence Petridis. She has also played Hatty in the TV series Jericho, and appeared in the Call the Midwife 2014 Christmas special as Mrs Henshall.

Ben Hunter plays Joseph Booth

Ben Hunter plays Joseph Booth in Gentleman Jack

Who is Joseph Booth? Anne Lister's servant.

What else has Ben Hunter been in? Ben Hunter previously played Alfie Proudman in the TV series Offspring.

Anthony Flanagan plays Sam Sowden

Anthony Flanagan plays Sam Sowden in Gentleman Jack

Who is Sam Sowden? One of Anne Lister's tenants. He is furious about Anne's hardline approach as a landlord, and scorns her as a woman in a position of power. Sam Sowden is a violent and drunken man who often mistreats his family.

What else has Anthony Flanagan been in? The actor played policeman Tony in the comedy drama Shameless, and Bastien in period drama Versailles. Recent roles have included John Morfin in The Terror, Dave in TV movie Care, and Francis Lovell in The White Princess; you'll soon also see him in new ITV drama Wild Bill.

Gentleman Jack season 2 airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The eight-part season is a Lookout Point production for the BBC, co-produced with HBO.

Gentleman Jack season 1 is also available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer. Looking for something else to watch? Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage or check out our TV Guide to find out what is on television this week.

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