Actress Suranne Jones secures rights to boxing legend Jane Couch's story and will appear alongside her
She was last seen on our TV screens in the title role of Gentleman Jack, a pioneer for women's rights in 1830's Yorkshire.
Now actress Suranne Jones has turned her attention to an equally forthright character, Lancashire's Jane Couch, the woman who can rightly claim to be the pioneer of women's boxing.
Jones has acquired the rights - through TeamAkers Productions with husband and writer Laurence Akers - to tell boxing star Couch's story and is on the lookout for an actor to portray the first female world champion boxer.
It will follow how Couch went from a tough upbringing in the Lancashire fishing town of Fleetwood to top boxing venues all over the world at a time when it was still illegal for women to box in the UK.
She then took on the UK Boxing Board of Control, who up until 20 years ago still insisted women were too psychologically unstable to box. Jones will also be starring in the series, said to be playing the role of Couch's lawyer.
The title of the production is 'The Final Round', the same as Couch's autobiography.
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.
"Women’s boxing has come a long way with Katie Taylor and Nicola Adams OBE becoming household names. But there’s still so much more that needs to be done. Hopefully, my story will help.”
Couch's story is in capable hands with award-winning Jones. The actress shot to fame on Coronation Street and remained on the ITV flagship show for four years.
Since then, she went on to star in the hit series Doctor Foster before most recently impressing in Gentleman Jack.
Jones has 11 awards for her performances on screen and says she 'cannot wait' to tell Couch's story.
She said: "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 — we know it’s going to make fantastic television.”
British boxer Stacey Copeland reacted to the news on Twitter, saying: "Yes! Been so excited about this & now it’s out! Absolutely buzzin for you @JaneCouchMBE it’s time everyone knew YOUR version of the fight you took on for women’s boxing, there’s a bit of your story in all of ours, and now it’ll be heard. Brilliant"
Couch responded: "Thanks Stace."
Another Twitter user said: "Fine actress, great partnership to tell such an important story"
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Couch also tweeted the production company, saying: "Looking forward to working with such a great team Thankyou for everything Let’s do this xx"