Channel 4’s school drama Ackley Bridge is back this summer for 12 brand new episodes weekly on Tuesdays at 8pm. Made by The Forge with investment from Screen Yorkshire‘s Yorkshire Content Fund, 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.
The series is filmed mainly in Halifax, with additional scenes filmed in the wider Calderdale borough, as well as Bradford and Leeds.
The first six-part series triumphantly marked the channel’s return to 8pm week-night drama for the first time in 13 years. It is attracting an average consolidated audience of 2.4 million viewers per episode and a 12% share, almost double the slot average. Ackley Bridge was also Channel 4’s top performing commission for 10-15 year olds last year, performing particularly well among young viewers, up a massive +545% compared to the slot average.
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.
Ackley Bridge was created by Ayub Khan Din (East is East), Kevin Erlis (Shameless) and Malcolm Campbell (What Richard Did, Shameless). It is produced by The Forge in association with Screen Yorkshire. Executive Producers are George Ormond (National Treasure, Great Expectations), George Faber (Shameless, Skins), Hugo Heppell (National Treasure, Mischief Night) and Ayub Khan Din, with Alexander Lamb (EastEnders, Waterloo Road) serving as Producer and written by Matt Evans, Perrie Balthazar, Ayub Khan Din, Richard Davidson, Ishy Din, Natalie Mitchell, Faryal Velmi, Lisa Holdsworth, Maya Sondhi and Stephen Russell.