Channel 4’s 8pm school drama Ackley Bridge is back for 12 brand new episodes.
Catch up on everything you need to know about the series ahead of season 2, including details on where the show is filmed.
What is Ackley Bridge?
Ackley Bridge explores modern Britain with irreverence, wit, close to the knuckle humour, larger than life characters and big hearted stories.
Set in an academy situated in the racially divided (fictional) Yorkshire town of Ackley Bridge, the series explores the ups and downs of friendships, family life and relationships of both the teachers and pupils of the college.
Building upon the first series, the second series will explore some of the harder hitting issues that affect such communities up and down Britain – such as Nas’s need to navigate her traditional background and her modern sexual and emotional identity, Kaneez who finds her newfound independence a challenge as well as an opportunity, Jordan attempting to make something of himself despite strained relationships with his family, pupils who are vulnerable not just from gangs but the dangers that lurk at home, and the very real ramifications of squeezed budgets and failing students threatening the very future of the school.
Gritty yet playful, frank, yet funny. Ackley Bridge looks at the challenges and opportunities that come with integration, in its own unique way.
Who is in the cast?
Jo Joyner, Paul Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar and Amy Leigh-Hickman return for series two and are joined by Tony Jayawardena and Adam Fielding. Kimberley Walsh and Vicky Entwistle will be guest starring.
Where is Ackley Bridge filmed?
Ackley Bridge is set in a fictional Yorkshire Mill town and centres around the merging of schools which brings a clash cultures.
Halifax is the main filming location for the show, but Calderdale, Leeds and Hebden Bridge were also used.
The school used for the series was formerly St Catherine’s Catholic High School on Holdsworth Road in Halifax which closed in 2013.
Pupils from local schools and colleges including Trinity Academy, North Halifax Grammar School, Crossley Heath School and Calderdale College appear in the show.
Director Penny Woolcock told the Huddersfield Examiner: “I think it’s so important to have dramas that reflect the fact that most people live in provincial towns far away from the metropolis.
“All the kids you see are from local schools. Kids even popped up in the art and costume departments.”
She added: “Everyone was very welcoming. We didn’t have any aggro whatsoever, it was remarkable. I think it’s partly because we did the groundwork, we didn’t just show up. We went round and spoke to people and explained what was going on. And we'd get local people involved – for example, the street that Missy and Nas live on, a lot of the extras are the people who live on that street.
That really changes how people feel about filming.”
Ackley Bridge exec producer George Ormond said: "We’re so pleased that we found our home for Ackley Bridge in Yorkshire. We searched for our school across the whole of the north of England, and Halifax provided not just the school building, but a fantastic hub for production. It has allowed us to bring our fictional world to life with veracity and punch, it looks great on screen, and we've enjoyed real collaboration with schools, youth groups, businesses and organisations from the surrounding area in putting it together."
Actor Adil Ray said: I’ve really loved Halifax this time around. It was freezing in the winter but when the sun’s been out it’s been lovely!” he said.
“I’ve managed to have a day off here and there and have a little wander round. I’ve been to fantastic places like The Piece Hall and Square Chapel Arts Centre.
“I went to university just down the road in Huddersfield, so it is a place that is really quite close to my heart. I’m so glad to be back here.”
The Halifax Courier has reported that the cast were spotted filming scenes for series 2 in the Halifax Borough Market.
The show’s characters were unusually accompanied by two alpacas for the scenes.
Episode 2 preview:
Jordan finds himself in charge of a baby that he has to sneak into school. It’s harder to conceal than he anticipated, and he blackmails Steve into helping him out. Unable to return it to its mother a stumped Steve ends up taking Jordan and baby back to his house which causes further issues to his already strained marriage to Mandy, leading her to fall into the ready arms of her boss, Sadiq.
Missy agrees that if Cory sleeps with Nas she’ll sleep with Cory. However she soon discovers Cory has a loose tongue and that the whole school thinks this is an open opportunity. Missy calls the deal off and blows it open to Nas.
Missy and Nas are brought together when Nas is inadvertently drawn into helping Missy recover money that Simone stole. Firm friends again Nas sides with Missy over Alya and confesses to Missy that she’s got a crush on someone Missy doesn’t expect.
Ackley Bridge returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday, June 5.
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