Suranne Jones on healthy living and Vigil’s return: ‘My next few characters aren’t lesbians, but I’ll be back with more’

Suranne Jones on healthy living and Vigil’s return: ‘My next few characters aren’t lesbians, but I’ll be back with more’

The actor has earned thousands of queer fans since starring as gay diarist Anne Lister in ‘Gentleman Jack’, and she plays a bisexual character in BBC blockbuster ‘Vigil’. She tells Ellie Harrison about her decades-long career, and how she’s feeling liberated, despite experiencing the perimenopause, thanks to a new health routine

Above the stairs in Suranne Jones’s Muswell Hill home, there is a poster branded with the words: “Half the street think you’re a slag, the other think you’re a nutter. I think you’re both.” It’s a quote from Coronation Street, the ITV soap that gave the Mancunian actor her big break in 2000. She strode onto the cobbles as Karen McDonald, described by The Guardian at the time as “a bulldog in hoop earrings”, and it was Karen’s charming husband Steve who uttered those immortal words from the poster, on the couple’s wedding day. Two decades later, after award-winning roles in Scott & Bailey, Doctor Foster and Gentleman Jack, the quote is a punchy reminder of where it all began.

Jones is reminiscing about Corrie – the show that pumped out a disproportionately high number of brilliant British actresses, from Sarah Lancashire to Julie Hesmondhalgh – over Zoom from a London hotel. She’s wearing sensible glasses; her hair is pulled back into a neat ponytail. There’s a Christmas tree in the corner of the suite. “I’m a bit overawed by it,” the 45-year-old says, sipping on a herbal tea. “Anything to do with Christmas, I f***ing love. I love it. I love it. I love it.” It’s a few hours before the premiere of series two of Vigil, the BBC One thriller starring Jones as detective Amy Silva, who almost drowned in a torpedo tube the last time we saw her. It’s no surprise she’s back, really, given how successful the show’s been, attracting almost 13 million viewers per episode in its first run.

Jones and her husband, the scriptwriter Laurence Akers, are squeezing in a date after the red carpet premiere of series two, “to make sure we go out as a couple”, she says, her Julia Roberts-smile spreading across her face. “We do daytime dates sometimes – we’ll drop my son off at school and then we’ll go to the cinema straight afterwards, or go for a big dog walk. But you have to put it in, like you put everything else in, a busy diary.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.