Jodie Turner-Smith will play Anne Boleyn in a new Channel 5 series

Posted by for TV

Here’s everything we know so far about Jodie Turner-Smith’s new Channel 5 series, which will see her playing Tudor queen Anne Boleyn.

What happens when one of the coolest and most talented actors in Hollywood takes on the role of an iconic Tudor queen? We’re about to find out in a fascinating new Channel 5 series. Yes, it’s just been announced that Jodie Turner-Smith will play Anne Boleyn in a three-part psychological drama that will air in the UK. And it’s fair to say that we’re losing our heads over the exciting news. 

Here’s why we’re definitely going to be tuning in when it arrives…

Frustratingly, Boleyn is perhaps best known as being the second wife of Henry VIII. That’s why the narrative that most period dramas and novels have always preferred when telling her story is one of a seductive, jealous and cruel woman (just see Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, or the BBC’s The Tudors).

But people have finally started to tell the real story of Boleyn in recent years. In her book, Anne Boleyn: 500 Years of Lies, historian Hayley Nolan proves that Boleyn was a “powerful politician, fighting for the people” and “a feminist who believed in equality and didn’t let her sex hold her back”.

So, we’re 100% here for an alternative retelling of her life on the screen. 

As reported by Deadline, the drama “shines a feminist light on the final months of Boleyn’s life, re-imagining her struggle with Tudor England’s patriarchal society, her desire to secure a future for her daughter, Elizabeth, and the brutal reality of her failure to provide Henry with a male heir”.

Anne Boleyn
The true story of Anne Boleyn is finally here.

The series, which is yet to be titled, will be written by newcomer Eve Hedderwick Turner. Faye Ward (who previously worked on The Other Boleyn Girl) and Hannah Farrell are the producers, and it will be helmed by Deadwater Fell director Lynsey Miller.

Ward and Farrell said at Edinburgh TV Festival in August: “We feel that history has side-lined the voice of this ambitious Queen in favor of the men who brought her down, and that Lynsey Miller’s beautiful, intimate vision will put Anne’s gaze at the heart of the piece.”

And Turner-Smith will be putting on Boleyn’s gable hood to tell that story.

Turner-Smith is of course best known for her powerful performance in last year’s hit film Queen & Slim. Speaking about playing Boleyn, she said in a statement: “Delving deeper into Anne Boleyn’s immense strengths while examining her fatal weaknesses and vulnerabilities, Eve’s scripts immediately captured my imagination.”

Joining her, the cast will also include Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Amanda Burton (White House Farm), Thalissa Teixeira (Two Weeks To Live), Barry Ward (White Lines), and Jamael Westman (Hamilton).

We don’t yet have any details on when to expect the series to land, but we’ll let you know when more details are announced. 

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…