Yorkshire drama Gentleman Jack watched by 600,000 in region, says BBC

Yorkshire-based drama Gentleman Jack has wowed audiences globally - and ahead of the first season's final episode the BBC has said that nearly 600,000 viewers in the region have been watching.

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister. Credit: BBC.
Suranne Jones as Anne Lister. Credit: BBC.

->Calderdale the Hollywood of the north is in demand as a prime filming location for British and American audiencesVisitors to Shibden Hall, where the series was filmed and where the real Anne Lister lived, have trebled amid the drama's broadcasting.

Nationwide nearly six million people are watching the series each week - with an average audience of nearly 600,000 in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire - keen to follow the story of Halifax land owner Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) and her relationship with Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle).

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West Yorkshire-born writer and executive producer Sally Wainwright said: "I am delighted that so many people across the region have been enjoying the show.

Gentleman Jack has wowed audiences around the world. Credit: BBC.

"I hope they're all as thrilled as I am that this bold, brilliant, life-affirming daughter of Halifax is now being celebrated - as she deserves to be - on a global stage.”

Miss Lister wrote a detailed diary of her daily life and left behind twenty-six volumes of 7,722 pages, of an estimated five million words. The diaries give a great insight into her life as a landowner, businesswoman, intrepid traveller, mountaineer and lesbian, according to Calderdale Museums.

-> Gentleman Jack: Who were Anne Lister's lovers?Since Gentleman Jack began airing on BBC One and on HBO in America, Calderdale Council has reported an increase in tourism in the region, with visitor numbers to Shibden Hall, the home of Anne Lister, increasing from roughly 150 on a good day to 300-400, according to museums manager Richard Macfarlane.

Coun Susan Press,the council’s Cabinet Member for public services and communities, said: “We’re thrilled that visits to Shibden Hall have trebled since Gentleman Jack aired.

"The impact was immediate, with visitors travelling from as far as America to see the historic hall where Anne Lister lived, and the many other great things that Halifax and Calderdale have to offer.

"That includes walking in Anne’s footsteps in the places she visited, like The Piece Hall and the 900-year-old Halifax Minster.

“We are working to harness the long-term impacts of Gentleman Jack across Calderdale – especially now a second series has been confirmed – taking tourism and our distinctiveness as a heritage destination to the next level.”

The final episode will air this Sunday on BBC One when difficult news from Shibden Hall spurs Anne Lister to leave behind her aristocratic lifestyle in Denmark, while Ann Walker finally finds the courage to take control of her future.

It will film in various locations across West Yorkshire including Huddersfield, Batley, Bradford, Leeds and back at Shibden Hall in Halifax.

The last episode begins at 9pm on BBC One, and the rest of the series is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.