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‘Gentleman Jack’ Star Suranne Jones to Adapt Memoir of Female Boxing Champion

“Gentleman Jack” star Suranne Jones has optioned the memoir of five-time female world boxing champion Jane Couch, with a TV adaptation in the works through her fledgling production outfit TeamAkers Productions and “Les Misérables” producer Lookout Point.

Jones and writer Laurence Akers’ TeamAkers and BBC Studios-owned Lookout Point will adapt Couch’s memoir “The Final Round” for television.

Couch carved out her trailblazing career in the 1990s, when it was still illegal for women to box in the U.K. Her memoir charts her upbringing in a fishing village through to her ascent in the boxing world. At the center of the story is Couch’s legal battle with the U.K. Boxing Board of Control to recognize female boxers.

Lookout Point CEO Faith Penhale, who took the reins of the business last year, and Laura Lankester are developing the memoir for television alongside Jones and Akers.

The team is casting for the role of Couch. A writer for the drama is also yet to be attached.

Jones set up TeamAkers with Akers, her husband, last year. The former is best known for star turns in “Doctor Foster,” Sky Atlantic’s “Save Me” and HBO/BBC One co-production “Gentleman Jack,” while Akers is a former journalist and screenwriter.

Meanwhile, Lookout Point’s forthcoming productions include the Mira Nair-directed BBC One adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel “A Suitable Boy.”

Couch said: “After all the struggles I went through in my career, the fights in the ring, with the media and in the courts, it’s great that my story will be seen by a whole new audience and the people who helped me along the way, like Sarah and Dinah, will get the recognition they deserve. Women’s boxing has come a long way with Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams becoming household names, but there’s still so much more that needs to be done. Hopefully, my story will help.”

Jones added: “As soon as I met Jane, I knew I wanted to tell her story from her perspective and shine a light on this amazing woman who paved the way so others in her position could succeed. TeamAkers cannot wait to get started on developing ‘The Final Round’ and we’re thrilled to be working with Faith and the team at Lookout Point — we know it’s going to make fantastic television.”

Penhale, CEO of Lookout Point, said: “At Lookout Point we have a fantastic legacy of telling the true stories of pioneering women from the likes of Anne Lister in ‘Gentleman Jack’ to the Brontë sisters in ‘To Walk Invisible’ and Jane Couch’s life achievements place her squarely alongside these.

“The strength and dignity with which Jane fought for her right to stand equally alongside men in her chosen sport is truly humbling and we are thrilled to be able to work with her, Suranne and TeamAkers to bring this inspiring tale to screens.”

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