Ackley Bridge is back on Channel 4 for 12 brand new episodes, screening on Tuesday evenings from 5th June at 8pm. Commissioned from The Forge in association with Screen Yorkshire, the hit school drama filmed in Halifax, Bradford and Leeds 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, at the former St Catherine’s Catholic High School, with additional scenes filmed in the wider Calderdale borough, as well as Bradford and Leeds.
Speaking about filming in Halifax, Adil Ray who plays Sadiq said he loved filming the series there.
“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.”
The Citizen Khan actor added: “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.”
Liz White who plays Emma said filming in the Heben Bridge area this time around was cold.
“It was cold! It was very, very cold!” The Life On Mars actress said.
“But it was really nice to come back. We stay in Hebden Bridge while we’re up here, which is a lovely part of the area, and it’s a nice change for me from living in a town.”
She added: “I love being up in Yorkshire, the scenery is just beautiful, the people are lovely. It’s like coming home, in a way, because I was born up here.”
Read more in The Express: Where is Ackley Bridge filmed? Where is it set?
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 and Paul Nicholls star in Ackley Bridge, filmed in Halifax and Leeds
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.
Pupils from local schools have landed roles on the drama, including from Trinity Academy, North Halifax Grammar School, Crossley Heath School and Calderdale College also feature.