Vigil star Suranne Jones reveals the sweet meaning behind her name - and it’s not what you think

Suranne Jones attends the BFI Southbank premiere screening of new BBC drama "Vigil"
(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Suranne Jones has been back captivating viewers in the hit new BBC thriller, Vigil, and it seems that there’s a very significant meaning behind her iconic name. 

Actor Suranne Jones is perhaps best known in recent years for her roles as Rachel Bailey in ITV's Scott & Bailey and Anne Lister in the BBC’s historical drama Gentleman Jack. After welcoming her first child in 2016, Suranne has previously revealed that her personal experience of motherhood has influenced her approach to her role in hit series Dr Foster which she's starred in two series of to date. Whilst there's sadly been no confirmation of a Dr Foster series 3, Suranne is now back on our screens as DCI Amy Silva in the chilling new maritime thriller, Vigil.

And though Suranne has become a household name to many in light of her brilliant portrayals of so many varied characters, it seems there’s a hidden meaning behind her moniker...

Suranne Jones attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards

Though it might come as a surprise to some fans, the acclaimed actor’s real name isn’t actually Suranne!

As reported by OK! magazine, Suranne was actually born Sarah Anne but changed her name when she became an actor. Upon entering the acting profession, new actors are encouraged to register their names with Equity, the trade union for creative practitioners.

Many performers may soon find, however, that their name has already been taken. This seems to have been the case for Suranne, as OK! reports that she once explained that when she went to register as an actor, Sarah Anne Jones was taken, leading to her having an inspiring conversation with her father.

According to the publication, Suranne explained, “My great gran was called Suranne and when my dad told the priest he wanted to call me Suranne, too, he said: ‘Now, that's not a proper name.’

Suranne Jones attends "BBC One Drama Gentleman Jack" Yorkshire Premiere

She continued, “So I was christened Sarah-Anne. When I got the chance to pick a stage name, my dad asked if I would consider Suranne.”

It certainly seems to have been the perfect choice as Sarah Anne took to stage and screen as Suranne Jones. This unique stage name was a lovely way to honour her great-grandmother after not being given this beautiful and unusual baby name when she was born.

And the inspiration provided by her conversation with her father is likely something Suranne holds very dear, after revealing her heartache at his passing earlier this year.

A photo posted by on

Posting a sweet photo of her parents embracing while sat on a beach on what would’ve been her late mother’s birthday, Suranne shared the sad news that her father had passed away in January. 

'We are still coming to terms with it all but I know they are together and today I want to celebrate them both. My thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones. Today and always', she powerfully declared.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home,, and My Imperfect Life.