As the fourth series of the hit drama returns to filming this September.
Late last year, Channel 4 announced that Ackley Bridge would return in September with 10 shorter 30-minute episodes. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, filming was paused on the new series and the series is now set to air in 2021 and will be stripped across two weeks in an earlier evening slot.
The good news however is that filming will resume in September and to keep fans going, Channel 4 have announced some brand new characters including Kayla, Fizza and Johnny.
Played by Robyn Cara, Kayla is funny, dual heritage and torn between her white Mum’s family and her traditional Pakistani Dad’s family.
Whilst best friend Fizza, played by Yasmin Al Khudhairi is a fiercely intelligent, fist-in-the-air firebrand and Johnny, played by Ryan Dean, is a cocky, good looking member of the traveller community who is deeply suspicious of school, and who catches the eye of both Kayla and Fizza.
Other new characters announced include Marina, Kayla’s ‘mean girl’ sister, played by Carla Woodcock and Tahir, played by Shobhit Piasa, the smooth talking billy-liar nephew of Kaneez, whose salesman’s patter hides a family secret.
And former Coronation Street villain Conor McIntyre will guest star as Johnny's father.
They join the returning cast including Sunetra Sarker, Rob James Collier, Jo Joyner, Charlie Hardwick, Tony Jayawardena, Fern Deacon, Phoebe Tuffs-Berry, Cody Ryan, Nazmeen Kauser and Zara Salim.
Inspired by real-life Lancashire and Yorkshire schools established to integrate the white and Asian communities in some of the most divided towns in the country, Ackley Bridge has won praise across its previous three series for tackling real-life situations and issues in an irreverent, insightful way, with humour and punchy, big hearted stories.
With diversity right at the heart of the show and what makes the series such a hit with viewers, Channel 4 have announced that all five writers this series are from diverse backgrounds.
Ackley Bridge returns in 2021 on Channel 4