The story behind Last Tango in Halifax's 'Banksy' giraffe and its link to Gentleman Jack

Last Tango in Halifax fans will be familiar with the giraffe mural that had characters puzzled in the latest series.

But they might not know its connection to Sally Wainwright's other hit television show, Gentleman Jack.

The Last Tango storyline involves the artwork appearing overnight on the farm run by Gillian (Nicola Walker), leading to speculation about whether it is a Banksy - the anonymous British graffiti artist.

In real life, it was created by south London stencil artist Anna Jaxe.

The giraffe mural on Last Tango in Halifax. Picture: BBC.

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The production team soon tracked down Anna, who had been inspired to paint the mural on discovering the inspirational true story of Anne Lister via the TV series, which is also based in Calderdale.

When Wainwright and the production team Look Out Point realised they were going to need an expert artist to help them create the giant giraffe that mysteriously appears on the side of the barn in episode two of the fifth series of Last Tango in Halifax, they all knew exactly where to turn.

At Wainwright's request the team made contact with Anna, who then spent a number of days in Yorkshire last September turning a short description in the script into a huge, colourful, Banksy-style piece.

Last Tango cast member, including Nicola Walker (centre). Picture: Tony Johnson.

"The incredible experience of painting a giraffe wearing high heels (his name is Percy) in the beautiful surroundings of the northern countryside will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life.

"The desire to paint Anne Lister was intense. The fact that there was a show about a 19th Century Lesbian on primetime BBC blew my mind.

"As a queer woman and artist, I greatly admire people who share their stories to help others, so naturally I felt the need to commemorate her in my own way.”

London artist Anna Jaxe with her mural. Picture: BBC.

This is a series of murals she started in 2019 which are dedicated to celebrating the diversity of people representing queerness in the media, with subjects so far including music duo Tegan & Sara, comedian Hannah Gadsby and Drag Race star RuPaul.

Anna Jaxe's mural of Anne Lister in Shoreditch. Picture: BBC.