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Suranne Jones — things you didn't know about the star

Suranne Jones
(Image credit: BBC)

Suranne Jones made her mark on British TV when she played the role of Karen McDonald in Coronation Street between 2000 to 2004, and since then she's gone on to play celebrated roles in Doctor Foster, Gentleman Jack, and Scott and Bailey. She was also praised recently for her work on C4's I Am series, where she starred in the episode I Am Victoria. 

Now, she's starring in the new BBC drama Vigil alongside Line of Duty actor Martin Compston and Game of Thrones' Stephen Dillane. The series will open across consecutive nights during the bank holiday weekend.

But there are some things you may not know about Suranne, and we've put together some interesting facts about the actress.

1. Her name isn't actually Suranne

Her real name is Sarah Anne Akers, but she's known professionally as Suranne Jones. There's a touching origin story to her stage name too, as she took it to honour her great-grandmother. 

In The Herald, she explained: "My great gran was called Suranne and when my dad told the priest he wanted to call me Suranne, too, he said: "Now, that's not a proper name." So I was christened Sarah-Anne. When I got the chance to pick a stage name, my dad asked if I would consider Suranne."

2. She supports Manchester United

Suranne's football loyalty lies with Manchester United, but she revealed it was "mostly through [her] dad and brother". She hasn't spoken much about the football team but likely follows them as her family is from the Greater Manchester area.

3. She auditioned for the role of Charity Dingle in Emmerdale

Suranne went for the part of Charity Dingle in Emmerdale. However, Emma Atkins eventually beat Suranne to the role, but she went on to play Karen McDonald in Coronation Street not long after, which is one of her most memorable roles.

4. She's heavily involved with charity work

Suranne Jones is no stranger to charity work, having helped with Alzheimer's Society, Children in Need, Christian Aid, and breast cancer charities.

5. Her first job was answering phones for the National Lottery

Long before her acting career began, Suranne's first job had her answering phones. In The Herald, she explained: "Answering phones for Camelot while they were setting up the National Lottery was my first ever job. I didn't last long because I used to answer in silly accents just to keep myself entertained."

6. Suranne was a chatterbox as a child

She has admitted she was a bit of a chatterbox when she was a child, which used to be frustrating to people around her. She told Digital Spy: "The priest used to pray for me not to talk so much because I was distracting the other kids. He used to say: 'I'm praying you can concentrate just a bit more.'"

Suranne Jones Fact File

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actress....

How old is she?

Suranne Jones is 43 years old. She was born on 27 August 1978.

Is she married? 

Suranne Jones married Laurence Akers in 2015.

Does she have children?

Suranne Jones and Laurence Akers have one child together, a son who was born in 2016.

Where was she born?

Suranne Jones was born in Chadderton, Greater Manchester.

How tall is she?

Suranne Jones is 5ft 7 inches tall.

Instagram: @suranne_jones

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Lucy Buglass

Lucy is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is also a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema, setting up her own website Lucy Goes to Hollywood in 2017 to review films in her spare time. Her favourite genres are horror, thriller and anything crime related. When she's not writing about film and TV, you'll likely find her playing video games, reading, and trying her hand at podcasting.