Preview – Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge
JO JOYNER as MANDY CARTER and ADIL RAY as SADIQ NAWAZ. Picture Publicist: Lily Duffield. Photographer: MATT SQUIRE.

This new drama follows the staff and pupils of a new academy in this eponymous Yorkshire mill town, that has been formed by the merger of two schools that were previously segregated.

EastEnder’s star Jo Joyner plays Mandy Carter, the hopeful head of the newly formed Ackley Bridge College who has bright ideas for greater racial integration in the school and town. She works alongside her husband and PE teacher Steve Bell (Paul Nicholls) to help things going smoothly. Also starring are Sunetra Sarker as dinner lady Kaneez Paracha, and Adil Ray as Sadiq Nawaz, the academy’s sponsor.

In the opening episode, the first day of terms sees fights among pupils, a topless photo of a teacher going up on social media, and English teacher Emma Keane (Liz White) learning she will be working alongside her ex-boyfriend.

Ackley Bridge is on Channel 4 at 20.00