Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright announces new series for Disney+

Exciting news for Sally Wainwright fans!

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 9:06 am

Lookout Point, the production company behind BBC/HBO hit Gentleman Jack, has announced a new commission from Disney.

The Ballad of Renegade Nell, a swashbuckling 18th Century family adventure series written by multi-BAFTA Award-winning Calderdale writer Sally Wainwright leads the slate of UK originals announced for the entertainment giant’s hugely successful global SVOD platform, Disney+.

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Calderdale writer Sally Wainwright.

Wainwright has shone a spotlight to Calderdale over the years with hit TV dramas Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley and Gentleman Jack. The latter was credited with causing a huge tourism boom for Halifax during 2019.

Her latest project is set to be a swashbuckling adventure.

When she’s framed for murder, Nell Jackson is forced into a life of highway robbery, along with her two orphaned sisters Roxanne and George. Aided by a plucky little spirit called Billy Blind, Nell realises that fate has put her on the wrong side of the law for a reason, a reason much bigger than she could’ve ever imagined, a reason that goes right up to Queen Anne and beyond, to the struggle for power raging across the battlefields of Europe.

Executive produced by Wainwright, and Faith Penhale and Will Johnston from BBC Studios-backed Lookout Point, this eight episode series, with 45 minute episodes, will be "a stylish, witty and surprising romp from one of the UK’s most acclaimed series creators".

Writer and Executive Producer Wainwright said: “I can’t wait to bring swashbuckling highwaywoman Nell Jackson to the screen. Nell’s a ball of irreverent, blustering energy, fighting against the privileged gatekeepers of English society in 1705, battling to contain mysterious forces within her and her enemies as she goes on the run with her two sisters.

"It’s a thrill once again to work with Faith Penhale and the super-talented team at Lookout Point. I’m so excited to partner with Disney Plus for this series, with their supportive approach and magnificent commitment to bringing this three-hundred-year-old story to the biggest possible global audience.”

Lookout Point CEO and Executive Producer Faith Penhale said: “In Nell Jackson Sally has conjured up yet another instantly iconic female lead. Her wit, warmth and boundless capacity for invention will make our journey through Nell’s riotous imagined life a very special ride indeed and viewers of all ages around the world will love the way Sally blends history and magic to create an utterly original, endlessly entertaining world.

"I’m delighted to be working on this series with Disney Plus. It’s a cutting-edge platform built on a great history, with enormous reach and class, and a dream home for our highwaywoman.”