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Top of the class!

Top of the class!

Do your homework on Ackley Bridge as the second series becomes available in On Demand

School’s back in session as the second series of hit show Ackley Bridge lands in Virgin TV On Demand

Find series 1 and 2 of Ackley Bridge in On Demand > Box Sets

The hit drama continues to follow the ups and downs of merging the white and Asian communities of a Yorkshire mill town when two comprehensive schools combine. Alongside all the day-to-day tribulations of educational life, it’s got weddings, protests, broken engagements, pregnancies, proms, livestock theft – all the drama you could ever want, basically!


But Ackley Bridge also tackles issues surrounding sexuality, religious beliefs, homelessness, gang culture and cultural integration sensitively. It’s important stuff, so brush up on your knowledge by revising our cheat sheet of what you can expect from the second series. Don’t worry – there won’t be a test at the end of the lesson…

Former Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh stars

She takes on the role of netball teacher Claire Butterworth, who aims to score points with her ex Steve Bell (Paul Nicholls, EastEnders), the father of her son. When Steve’s estranged wife, head teacher Mandy Carter (Jo Joyner, also from EastEnders), realises what’s afoot, she’s far from a team player. And Walsh certainly didn’t have to work on an accent for her character – the Bradford native is a natural as she joins the residents of the invented West Yorkshire town.


Fan favourites from the first series return!

Best friends Nasreen (Amy-Leigh Hickman) and Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) are still revelling in being able to attend the same school for the first time, even if it does come with some growing pains. Adil Ray (Citizen Khan) as school sponsor Sadiq Nawaz, Liz White as teacher Emma Keane and Sunetra Sarker (Casualty) as Nasreen’s mum Kaneez are all back as well.


Many of the cast are locals

Skipping actual school to appear in a show about a fictional school? It’s a no-brainer! The series is filmed in Halifax, West Yorkshire (Ackley Bridge College is a real school, St Catherine’s Catholic High School, which closed in 2013), and many of its young cast were found in the area.


Sam Bottomley, who plays Jordan (pictured above, centre), and Maariah Hussain, who plays Alya, were both discovered at the nearby Yorkshire School of Acting, and the team behind Ackley Bridge also enlisted students from local schools Trinity Academy, North Halifax Grammar School, Crossley Heath School and Calderdale College. Extras also included actual residents of the street where Missy and Nas live in the show. Top marks to the production team for their commitment to authenticity.


It ties up series 1’s loose ends neatly

Sadiq and Mandy’s indiscretion (ahem) made for an explosive first series finale, and the fall-out will have to be dealt with in series 2 by the school governors… uh-oh. Meanwhile, Missy is granted an emotional reunion, but is it all too good to be true? Make sure you don’t bunk off school and you’ll find out…


And finally, two alpacas steal the show

Alpacas, everyone! ALPACAS! We’re not giving away any more than that – you’ll have to watch the show in On Demand to find out more. Ackley Bridge will be returning for another series next year, so your assignment is to catch up on all the students’ shenanigans so you’ll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when the new term starts. Class dismissed! 


Find series 1 and 2 of Ackley Bridge in On Demand > Box Sets

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