SEASON one of Ackley Bridge was warmly received by viewers and followed the journey of two schools – one predominately Asian and one white – after they were forced to merge because of cuts.
Series two is up and running so here’s a lowdown on the cast…
Who’s in the cast?
Jo is one of the main cast members and plays Mandy, the headteacher.
She is best known for her long-running role in EastEnders as Tanya Branning.
Jo is from Harlow, Essex, and is married with nine-year-old twins Freddie and Evie.
Paul plays Mandy’s husband Steve Bell – also a PE teacher.
He is also an EastEnders alumni but also played DS Sam Casey in Law & Order UK.
Paul was left stranded last year at the bottom of a waterfall in Ko Samui, Thailand, after falling.
He was eventually rescued but suffered two broken legs and a shattered knee.
She’s a former Girls Aloud member turned actress.
After the girl band announced their split Kimberly went on top star as Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical as well as getting to the final of Strictly Come Dancing.
She has two children with husband Justin Scottt.
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Arsher Ali (Sami)
Arsher has an impressive list of TV greats under his belt during his time as an actor.
This includes a story arc in Doctor Who, appearing in The Missing and nabbing a role in the 2016 series of Line of Duty.
He has three movies currently lined up for release across 2017 and 2018 – including thriller The Ritual alongside Rafe Spall.
Paul Nicholls (Steve Bell/Mr Carter)
Paul is also a former member of the Eastenders cast, and played Joe from 1996 – 1997.
Since then, he has appeared in both series and films – including the shady Jed in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and 2004’s If Only.
Now he’s playing Mandy Carter’s other half and PE teacher Steve Bell.
Adil Ray (Sadiq Nawaz)
Adil Ray is an actor from Birmingham.
He is best known for creating the BBC One sitcom Citizen Khan about a British Pakistani family.
In Ackley bridge he plays Sadiq a wealthy businessman in Yorkshire who is a school sponsor and head of the academy trust.
Poppy Lee Friar (Missy Booth)
Poppy Lee Friar landed her first big TV role in the series Little Einsteins which ran from 2005-2009.
In 2008 she also appeared in movie adaptation Dustbin Baby, based on the Jaqueline Wilson novel.
In Ackley Bridge she plays the rebellious and sassy student Missy Booth.
Amy-Leigh Hickman (Nasreen)
Aged just 20, Amy-Leigh has had a long-standing career on TV – starting with CBBC’s Tracy Beaker spin-off show, The Dumping Ground.
Playing Carmen, Amy-Leigh has also appeared in a string of spin-offs of the TV favourite, including Tracy Beaker Returns, and The Dumping Ground Survival Files.
Since then she has appeared in Eastenders as schoolgirl Linzi “Starr” Bragg, finishing her stint in March 2017.
Sunetra Sarker (Kaneeza Paracha)
Sunetra had a long-standing role in the BBC hospital soap Casualty from 2007-2016, playing Zoe Hanna.
She also tried out her comedy chops in cult favourite No Angels.
Her last major TV role came in the third and final series of the gripping mystery drama, Broadchurch, playing Sahana Harrison in the damaged village.