Gentleman Jack Changed My Life documentary to air on BBC One

BBC One is to air a one-off Gentleman Jack documentary following women of all ages who’ve taken inspiration from Anne Lister.

Currently airing its second series on Sunday nights, Gentleman Jack is based on the diaries of Anne Lister from the 1830s.

Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, Gentleman Jack Changed My Life will see six women share heartwarming stories of how watching TV drama series Gentleman Jack led them to reassess their sexuality and change their lives.

The BBC reveal: “Anne’s courage to love a woman, and live openly with her, is inspiring women all over the world to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery. Fan groups and forums have sprung up to celebrate Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister and the drama series Gentleman Jack.

“In her 60s, Yvonne only realised she was gay when she watched the TV show. She’s been a Mormon all her adult life but is now in conflict with her faith after discovering her true sexuality. According to Mormon doctrine, acting on her feelings is a sin. While she works out what to do about her faith, we follow Yvonne as she determines to come out to her grown up children.

“In Manchester, Sami tried to come out to her mum 10 years ago but went straight back in the closet after a hostile response. The portrayal of Anne Lister in the drama gives Sami the confidence to try again and to heal the rift with her mum.

“Pauline and Trixie are in their 80s. Despite enjoying a long-term relationship in their 20s, they parted 35 years ago, because they felt it was impossible for them to live openly as a lesbian couple. Having watched Gentleman Jack, Pauline was spurred into action to track Trixie down.

“Chichi, 22, came out to her parents after watching the series. Now she’s getting ready to reveal to her grandparents that she is gay.

“Active church-goers Isabel and Katie sing in their church choir every weekend for services and weddings. Seeing Anne Lister and her lover Ann Walker take communion in the drama, they are inspired to fight for the dream religious wedding the Church of England is still denying them.”

The doc will also feature in put from show stars Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle, and writer Sally Wainwright.

Emma Loach, BBC Commissioning Editor, said: “It has been so exciting to hear the positive impact that the story of Anne Lister has had on so many people around the world. This life- affirming film celebrates finding the confidence to make changes in our lives, whatever our age.”

Gentleman Jack Changed My Life will air on BBC One and iPlayer.