Su­ranne Jones

As she re­turns in her award-win­ning role of Dr Foster, Su­ranne Jones is jug­gling act­ing with a much hap­pier home life than her al­ter ego!

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“They are in such an un­com­fort­able po­si­tion that some­thing has to give”

She won a pres­ti­gious BAFTA Best Ac­tress award for the grip­ping TV drama se­ries, Doc­tor Foster, play­ing GP Gemma Foster, who be­comes in­creas­ingly un­sta­ble af­ter dis­cov­er­ing her hus­band is hav­ing an af­fair with a younger woman. But Su­ranne Jones tells us that she had to be per­suaded to re­turn to do a sec­ond se­ries.

“I wasn’t sure about do­ing it,” she ad­mits, “but the writer, Mike Bartlett, ex­plained to me that he wanted it to be a dif­fer­ent story about what hap­pens to the cou­ple af­ter their di­vorce and hav­ing to look af­ter a child to­gether. He said this kind of fol­low-up was sel­dom seen on TV, and I thought that was in­trigu­ing.

“The first se­ries was about her break­down, be­ing ma­nip­u­la­tive and out of con­trol. Two years have passed and there are no se­crets to un­fold but there is a lot of anger, bit­ter­ness and ha­tred. Emo­tions are so tightly wound be­cause there is a child in­volved and so they have been keep­ing things in. They want to be seen to be deal­ing well with their di­vorce but un­der­neath is this hor­ren­dous turn­ing of a screw.

“By the fi­nal episode, they are in such an un­com­fort­able po­si­tion that some­thing has to give.”

The first se­ries was a big hit with view­ers even though Su­ranne says she was wor­ried that it wouldn’t have mass ap­peal.

“At that time, fam­ily and re­la­tion­ship dra­mas were not very pop­u­lar when it came to get­ting com­mis­sioned for TV. It was more about cop shows, thrillers, mur­ders. But al­though Gemma is an ‘ev­ery­woman’ Doc­tor Foster had an el­e­ment of the in­ves­tiga­tive thing go­ing through it and I think that is why it was com­mis­sioned.”

Might she be back for a third?

“Per­son­ally, no. I am booked up with work un­til Septem­ber 2018. I am do­ing a film for TV at the end of the year, then theatre un­til May and then on tele­vi­sion un­til De­cem­ber and af­ter that I am tak­ing a break to spend some time with my son.

“I feel like Gemma, Si­mon and Tom’s story will have been told by the end of this. It’s good for peo­ple to won­der what hap­pens next but I don’t think you then have to tell that story.”

Su­ranne, 39, gave birth to her first child with hus­band Lau­rence Ak­ers in March 2016. Just two months later she at­tended the BAFTA awards and ad­mits that it was all a lit­tle too much.

“I had an eight week old baby boy but I wanted to go be­cause I’d been nom­i­nated and it was the high­light of my ca­reer,” she says.

“The day of the award was very hot and I had been tak­ing my baby with me to var­i­ous dress fittings, feed­ing him in be­tween and it was all just crazy.

“I had prac­tised a speech in case I won but when my name was called out and Tom Hid­dle­ston handed me the award I was all over the

place and said, ‘I don’t know what’s go­ing on. I’ve just had a baby!’

“The fol­low­ing morn­ing I put my hus­band’s bow-tie on our son’s baby-grow, placed the BAFTA award by his side and took a pho­to­graph and it is just the best pic­ture be­cause it says it all for me. What was re­ally go­ing on in my life was that I was a mum and the BAFTA at any other time would have been a won­der ful mo­ment, but it was too much to cope with.”

Su­ranne, who came to promi­nence as Karen Mac­Don­ald in Corona­tion Street, is known for play­ing gritty, emo­tional char­ac­ters in­clud­ing DC Rachel Bailey in Scott & Bailey and Ruth Slater in Un­for­given but she says that this is per fectly bal­anced by the lighter side of be­ing a mum.

“I spend a lot of time run­ning around play­parks and be­ing a Tel­ly­tubby or do­ing Peppa Pig im­pres­sions!” she laughs. “So, there is a lot of

light­ness in my life and you will find me and my hus­band are very good at kids’ songs WindtheBob­binUp and Hop Lit­tle Bunny, Hop, Hop, Hop.

“We have a tram­po­line in the gar­den and our son loves us tak­ing him on it but us two oldies are like, ‘Oh no. We’ve been on it for half an hour. Please stop!’”

Hap­pily mar­ried in real life! Out for re­venge?

What next for the sep­a­rated pair?

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