FANS of the BBC costume drama Gentleman Jack are rallying support for an online petition to save the show, scenes from which were filmed in York.

Last month American company HBO announced that they would not continue their part in a co-production with the BBC on the period drama about the life of 19th-century diarist Anne Lister, aka Gentleman Jack.

A petition has been set up on to show how much the fans of Gentleman Jack love the show and they are asking the BBC to find a way to continue Anne Lister’s story with creator and director Sally Wainwright, now has more than 12,500 signatures.

Filming work for the second series of the drama, starring Suranne Jones in the title role, was carried out in College Street close to York Minster as well as in Castlegate back in 2020. While it had previously been filmed at Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate and Grays Court Hotel.

York Press: Gentleman Jack filming in Chapter House Street close to York Minster. Picture: Frank DwyerGentleman Jack filming in Chapter House Street close to York Minster. Picture: Frank Dwyer

Anne Lister was an entrepreneur and mountaineer, who married local heiress Ann Walker played by Sophie Rundle in the show.

The couple were said to have become engaged on February 27, 1834, and then taken communion during a service at Holy Trinity Church. The event had been hailed as the first Church of England blessing of a same-sex marriage.

Anne Lister came from one of the most prominent families in Halifax, whose estate, Shibden Hall, is now a tourist attraction. She inherited the family seat in 1826, eventually restoring and renovating the house and landscaping the grounds.

She recorded a number of lesbian love affairs in diaries which eventually amounted to four million words.

Sally Wainwright, is behind series including Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley.

The show has inspired festivals, tourism, artworks and more. A college has been named after Anne Lister, historical LGBTQ sites have been identified and recognised, historical documents such as Ann Walker’s journal have been uncovered, all because of the show! 

Last week Sally Wainwright, Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle all sent messages of support to a flashmob at Shibden by a Leeds superfan backing #SaveGentlemanJack.

Sally has spoken out about HBO's "bewildering" cancellation of the drama, blaming the US channel's decision to discontinue the show on budget cuts.

The BBC has confirmed that it's "in discussions" with Wainwright about the show's future.

York Press: Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman JackSophie Rundle and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack