Tue, 10 May 2022, 3:34 pm
Gentleman Jack Changed My Life is set to air on BBC One, featuring women who either realised they were lesbians, were inspired to come out, or decided to revisit previous same-sex romances by watching the series about 19th century entrepreneur Anne Lister.
In the dramatisation of her diaries, which features her relationship with Ann Walker, Lister is played by Suranne Jones and Walker by Sophie Rundle.
While the period drama has been a hit with many viewers, for some it has completely transformed their lives by giving them the confidence to open up about their sexuality.
Harry Potter and Call The Midwife actor Margolyes will hear from one woman in her 60s who says she only realised she was a lesbian after watching the show and is now trying to balance her new discovery with her Mormon faith.
Another woman tells how she tried to come out 10 years ago, but her mother’s reaction was so bad that she decided to keep her sexuality a secret – until Lister inspired her to give speaking out another go.
One moving story sees a woman in her 80s track down her former partner, a woman she had a long-term relationship with in her 20s, but split from 35 years ago as they thought they would not be able to live openly as a lesbian couple.
A 22-year-old tells how she came out to her parents after watching Gentleman Jack, and a church choir couple say they have been inspired to fight for their dream religious wedding after seeing Lister and Walker take communion in the programme.
The real-life stories will be woven in with reflections from Gentleman Jack‘s stars Jones and Rundle, as well as series writer Sally Wainwright who adapted Lister’s coded diaries.
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 series two is currently airing on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.