Suranne Jones’ new drama Gentleman Jack scores HUGE ratings for BBC

Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack
Sophie Rundle as love interest Ann (Image credit: BBC/Lookout Point/Jay Brooks)

Gentleman Jack attracts 5.1 million viewers to BBC1

Gentleman Jack, starring Suranne Jones as lesbian landowner Anne Lister, scored over five million viewers for BBC1 last night.

A whopping 5.1 million viewers, according to Broadcast, tuned into the opening episode of the new period drama, which is inspired by Anne’s coded diaries and explores how Anne, dubbed “Gentleman Jack,” had a string of romances including one with Ann Walker (played by Sophie Rundle).

Gentleman Jack

Former Coronation Street favourite Suranne has a hit on her hands with Gentleman Jack

Penned and directed by Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack now looks sure to be a hit with such a high opening number.

While the figure doesn’t match the exploits of recent megahit Line of Duty, which pulled in nearly 8 million viewers for its opening episode, the Beeb will no doubt be thrilled with attracting such a high audience – especially given the time of year.

[Suranne Jones talks about the period drama]

Meanwhile, ITV stalwart Midsomer Murders pulled in a respectable 3.4 million viewers for its latest adventure, which saw a woman in a coma suffer an usual death at the hands of a comic! Well, Midsomer does love a bizarre murder!!

ITV will no doubt now be looking to Hatton Garden, which kicks off tonight, to provide a ratings boost.

The eagerly-anticipated drama, starring Timothy Spall and Kenneth Graham, tells the story of the multi-million-pound robbery.

And it looks to have all the ingredients of a sure-fire hit…

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!