Suranne Jones unveils statue of Gentleman Jack protagonist Anne Lister

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Actress Suranne Jones has been pictured unveiling of a statue of Anne Lister, a diarist regarded as the first modern lesbian, who she plays in Gentleman Jack.

The Vigil star revealed the new sculpture – called Contemplation – in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where the 19th-century writer was from.

The life-size statue of Lister was commissioned by The Piece Hall Trust and is set to welcome thousands of visitors to its Georgian courtyard.

Anne Lister statue
Suranne Jones unveiling a statue at the Piece Hall in Halifax of Anne Lister (Charlotte Graham/Piece Hall Trust)

Jones, 43, was joined by the Gentleman Jack series creator Sally Wainwright and sculptor Diane Lawrenson to reveal the piece.

Wearing a navy blazer and matching trousers, Jones smiled and waved for pictures, and spoke with fans who had joined them at the square for the unveiling.

Gentleman Jack is a dramatisation based on Lister’s diaries, which were written in a cryptic code.

Set in 1832, it follows Lister’s life as she inherits her uncle’s fading estate, Shibden Hall in Halifax, which she attempts to restore while encountering a romance with another woman.

This comes as the final episode of Vigil, a six-part BBC thriller made by the same company behind Line Of Duty – which Jones also stars in, is broadcast on Sunday night.

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