Channel 4's Halifax-filmed drama Ackley Bridge to return for second series

Channel 4 has today confirmed Halifax-filmed school drama Ackley Bridge will return for a second series next year.

(L-R) Sami Quereshi (Arsher Ali), Alya (Maariah Hussain), Steve Bell (Paul Nicholls), Sadiq Quereshi (Adil Ray), Emma Keane (Liz White), Cory (Sam Retford), Missy (Poppy Lee Friar), Nasreen (Amy Leigh Hickman), Kaneeze Paracha (Sunetra Sarker), Mandy Cater (Jo Joyner)

The first six-part series is currently halfway through its run and has marked the channel’s return to 8pm week night drama, being its first for 13 years.

It’s set in the fictional Yorkshire mill-town of Ackley Bridge, which is home to a largely divided white and Asian population.

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Like the communities, the school system was also segregated, but that all changes when two isolated comprehensives merge to become Ackley Bridge College.

Much of the filming took place at the former St Catherine’s High School, Holmfield, and a number of pupils from Calderdale schools have appeared in the show.

Beth Willis, head of Channel 4 Drama said: “Roll on the next term at Ackley Bridge. Channel 4 is so thrilled to be working again with the brilliant producing and writing team at The Forge and the super talented cast on this funny, thoughtful, incredibly special show.”

Executive producer George Ormond added: “We’re over the moon that Ackley Bridge has connected so well with the audience, and our writing team is already brimming with stories for 12 more punchy, funny, surprising episodes.”

The show is attracting an average consolidated audience of 2.2m viewers per episode - outperforming Channel 4’s slot average.

It’s also Channel 4’s highest-rating show for 10-15 year olds this year.

Series one stars Jo Joyner, Paul Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar and Amy Leigh-Hickman.

It was created by Ayub Khan Din (East is East), Kevin Erlis (Shameless) and Malcolm Campbell (Shameless, What Richard Did).