THE first series of Ackley Bridge comes to a dramatic conclusion tonight as Jo Joyner continues in her role as headmistress of Ackley Bridge, an inner city school.
Here’s the lowdown on the new drama starring Joyner, formerly of EastEnders, as it comes to an end…
When does Ackley Bridge start?
The final episode of the six-part series airs TONIGHT (July 12) at 8pm on Channel 4.
Those who miss any of the episodes will be able to catch up on 4OD, the channel’s free online streaming site.
Tonight’s episode goes head-to-head with Watchdog Live on BBC One, Wimbledon BBC Two, Love Your Garden on ITV and The Highland Midwife on Channel 5.
What is Ackley Bridge about?
Originally titled The ABC, Ackley Bridge tells the story of a school in a Yorkshire town of the same name.
The story will follow two comprehensive schools that are forced to merge due to budget cuts.
However, trouble arises as one school is predominantly white, while the other is an Asian-led comprehensive – and the communities are for the most part separated from each other.
As a result, the teens lives and cultures are set to be thrown into turmoil as the pupils adjust to their new school mates and way of life.
The show promises to “explore the chaos, humour, camaraderie, pride, prejudice, conflict, romance and jealousies that define the school experience for teachers, pupils and parents alike.
“It will also explore the challenges of integration in traditionally divided communities and highlight the unexpected trials, and tribulations, that happen when we try and put aside our differences.”
Who’s in the cast of the show?
Jo Joyner (Mandy Carter)
Jo Joyner is most known for her role as the long-suffering Tanya Branning in Eastenders.
After leaving the show in 2015, she has appeared in a collection of well-received series – including Mount Pleasant, The Interceptor and Ordinary Lies.
In Ackley Bridge, she plays Mandy Carter, the headmaster of the new academy in charge of getting the teens in her care under control.
Paul Nicholls (Steve Bell/Mr Carter)
Paul is also a former member of the Eastenders cast, and played Joe from 1996 – 1997.
Since then, he has appeared in both series and films – including the shady Jed in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and 2004’s If Only.
Now he’s playing Mandy Carters other half and PE teacher Steve Bell.
Liz White (Emma Keane)
Liz White has taken on roles on the big and small screen, including the role of Jennet in the film adaptation of The Woman in Black opposite Daniel Radcliffe.
She also appeared as Annie Cartwright in the period cop drama Life on Mars alongside Jon Simm.
The star was last seen on Call the Midwife as Rhoda Mullucks, and has been confirmed to return for the new series.
She also played Peggy Taylor in the short-lived hotel period piece The Halcyon.
Fern Deacon (Chloe)
Fern is most known for her role as Margeret Hodgson in the 2015 retelling of The Enfield Haunting.
She also played a young Mina in the supernatural series, Penny Dreadful.
In Ackerly Bridge, she plays Chloe, who’s the troubled daughter of Emma Keane and arrives unexpectedly after living with her father.
Arsher Ali (Sami)
Arsher has an impressive list of TV greats under his belt during his time as an actor.
This includes a story arc in Doctor Who, appearing in The Missing and nabbing a role in the 2016 series of Line of Duty.
He has three movies currently lined up for release across 2017 and 2018 – including thriller The Ritual alongside Rafe Spall.
Amy-Leigh Hickman (Nasreen)
Aged just 20, Amy-Leigh has had a long-standing career on TV – starting with CBBC’s Tracy Beaker spin-off show, The Dumping Ground.
Playing Carmen, Amy-Leigh has also appeared in a string of spin-offs of the TV favourite, including Tracy Beaker Returns, and The Dumping Ground Survival Files.
Since then she has appeared in Eastenders as schoolgirl Linzi “Starr” Bragg, finishing her stint in March 2017.
Sunetra Sarker (Kaneeza Paracha)
Sunetra had a long-standing role in the BBC hospital soap Casualty from 2007-2016, playing Zoe Hanna.
She also tried out her comedy chops in cult favourite No Angels.
Her last major TV role came in the third and final series of the gripping mystery drama, Broadchurch, playing Sahana Harrison in the damaged village.
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