Holmfirth actress Jess Gunning is about to make her debut on hit TV series Jericho – as a prostitute.

Jess, 29, plays ‘lady of the night’ Mabel who joins the cast in episode three to be screened on Thursday night.

A well-known face on TV – most recently on Sky Atlantic’s gritty drama Fortitude – Jess was only meant to appear in two episodes.

But her portrayal impressed show bosses so much her part was written into all the remaining episodes.

Mabel arrives in the Yorkshire shanty village looking for work and finds it in the brothel run by Lace Polly (Lorraine Ashbourne).

The house of ill repute is next door to the home of main character Annie Quaintain, played by Jessica Raine, who also starred in Fortitude.

Jess, who grew up in Holmfirth but now lives in London, said: “I’ve watched the first two episodes and enjoyed it like everyone else.

Take a look at the trailer for Jericho below

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“My character arrives looking for work and tries her luck at Lace Polly’s. She becomes integrated into the group and becomes part of the community.

“Lace and Annie bring the women together and there becomes a really strong bond.”

Jess said she was pleased to meet up again with Jessica and added: “That was a big excitement. It was great to work with her again.”

Jess, a former student at Holmfirth High School, auditioned and landed the part but only for two episodes.

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The writing hadn’t been finished and her impressive performances saw her character written into the scripts right to the end of the eight-part series.

Jericho, set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s, revolves around the building of the Ribblehead Viaduct.

Much of it was filmed in and around Huddersfield including the Rockingstone Quarry between Outlane and Scapegoat Hill, Colne Valley Museum in Golcar and the moors above Meltham.

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Described as a Yorkshire Western it was penned by Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Steve Thompson whose Huddersfield-born mother also lived in Holmfirth.

There is no news yet on a second series but Jess said: “There’s nothing else like it. At first I think they thought it would be similar to Downton Abbey with a wealthy household and the navvy community but it’s not like that.

“Viewing figures and reaction has been very positive and I’m sure it’ll become even more popular once word gets round how good it is.

“Decisions on another series don’t often get made until midway through so by episode five or six we should know. There’s certainly lots of potential for a further series. There’s some really interesting characters.”

Jess went to Kirkroyds Infants School and Wooldale Junior School before moving to Holmfirth High and onto to Greenhead College.

She performed with Holmfirth theatre company Cragrats and drama is in her blood. Her mum Val is a drama teacher at Holmfirth High.

Jess has been in Law and Order UK and BBC dramas White Heat and What Remains. In 2014 she starred in Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated film Pride, about a group of gay and lesbian activists who join the miners’ strike in 1984.

Coming up is a one-off drama about Bob Dylan for Sky Arts and Jess is also turning her hand to writing a comedy drama, a talent she hasn’t used since her Cragrats days.

Jessica Gunning in White Heat