The pair will star alongside Suranne Jones in the eight-part series, which was created by Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright. The series is produced by War and Peace producer Lookout Point for the premium U.S. cable network and British public broadcaster.
Kelly plays Elizabeth Sutherland, the sister of Anne Lister’s intended wife Ann Walker, played by Peaky Blinders’ Sophie Rundle, whilst Gråbøl will appear towards the end of the series as Queen Marie of Denmark. Her appearance will be shot on location in Copenhagen. Jones plays Regency landowner Lister in the period drama, which is set in 1832 Halifax, West Yorkshire. Gentleman Jack focuses on the landowner, who is determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall, by reopening the coal mines and marrying well. The story examines Anne’s relationships at home with her family, servants, tenants and industrial rivals and, most importantly, would-be wife. Based in historical fact, the real-life Anne Lister’s story was recorded in her diaries, and the most intimate details of her life, once hidden in a secret code, are now decoded and revealed for the series.
Elsewhere, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s Derek Riddell plays Elizabeth’s husband Captain Sutherland and Hurt By Paradise’s Veronica Clifford stars as mother-in-law Mrs Sutherland. Sylvia Syms (Rev) stars as the Elderly Mrs Rawson, Brendan Patricks (Downton Abbey) is clergyman Thomas Ainsworth, Caspar Phillipson (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) is Mr De Hagemann, Polly Maberly (Shakespeare & Hathaway) is Lady De Hagemann, Lucy Black (Jericho) is Mary Sowden, Stephanie Hyam (Bodyguard) is Sophie Ferrall, Dino Fetscher (Humans) is Thomas Beech, Rupert Vansittart (Game of Thrones) is Charles Lawton and Michael Xavier (Into The Woods) is Dr. Steph Belcombe.
They join the previously announced cast, which includes Gemma Whelan, Timothy West, Gemma Jones, Stephanie Cole, Peter Davison, Amelia Bullmore, Vincent Franklin, Shaun Dooley, Joe Armstrong and Rosie Cavaliero.
Filming on Gentleman Jack draws to a close in the coming weeks ahead and is set to air in 2019. The drama was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. The series is directed by Wainwright, Sarah Harding and Jennifer Perrott. Executive Producers are Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester for Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for BBC One. The producer is Phil Collinson.
Kelly said, “I’m thrilled to be reuniting with Sally once again. I know how passionate she is about the life and times of Anne Lister, and I’m delighted to be portraying such a key historical character in Anne Lister’s story.”
Gråbøl said, “When asked if I would like to play the Queen of Denmark in Sally Wainwright’s brand new series, I could not have said ‘yes’ fast enough. I’m excited to welcome the Gentleman Jack team to Copenhagen, and to film my scene as Queen Marie with the wonderful Suranne Jones.”
Wainwright added, “It’s so exciting that Anne Lister’s story has attracted such an extraordinary cast, and now we can add to that the unique talents of Katherine Kelly and Sofie Gråbøl. Anne Lister is taking us up to Scotland and across Europe.”