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Ackley Bridge is an ongoing Channel 4 series which first started airing back in 2017. Ackley Bridge school is set in a fictional town and fans are keen to learn more about what inspired the series. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about where the series was filmed and set.
Where was Ackley Bridge set?
Ackley Bridge made its debut in 2017 and the third season aired in the summer of 2019, with a fourth season commissioned the same year.
Season four was due to air in September 2020, but filming had to be postponed earlier in the year due to the coronavirus outbreak, and fans are eagerly awaiting new episodes.
The series is set in the fictional town of Ackley Bridge, in Yorkshire, and within the mill town is a school which combined both British and Pakistani communities together.
Two schools were forced to merge due to budget cuts, and the series explores cultural prejudices and how they become obstacles in an educational setting.
But the series also has its light-hearted and comedic moments as the students develop special friendships with their peers and teachers.
The series has been compared to the popular BBC school drama Waterloo Road which went down a storm with viewers.
The series stars Our Girl actress Amy-Leigh Hickman as student Nasreen Paracha and Poppy Lee Friar as Missy Booth, who are friends in real life.
EastEnders actors Jo Joyner and Paul Nicholls were cast as headteacher Mandy Carter and PE teacher Steve Bell.
Actress Hickman spoke to Channel 4 in 2018 about the importance of having a Muslim character on screen, who realises she is gay.
She said: “I think it’s so important to have a character like Nas on screen, there’s nothing like seeing a character on TV that you can relate to.
“This is a character, Nas is a girl who exists all over the country and whether they have spoken up about it or not, this girl exists.
“It’s important because it normalises it, Nas is a girl who wants to find love and wants to be happy, that’s the bottom line, so why shouldn’t that be on TV?”
She said she did not know how fans would react to her character because she was so different, but she has since had girls come up to her and say thank you for doing this story.
Where was Ackley Bridge filmed?
The series was filmed at St Catherine’s School in North Halifax, which was transformed into the fictional Ackley Bridge College.
This is not the first time the old school has been used for a TV show, is it featured in the CBBC series Hank Zipzer.
The secondary school was open for more than 50 years, but it closed in 2013 after falling into special measures.
Most of the shots were filmed in and around Halifax, with some scenes being filmed in the Calderdale area, Leeds and Bradford.
For the most recent season, some shots were filmed at the National Children’s Museum called Eureka!
Outside of the school, fans will recognise some shots as being filmed in Halifax town centre, and Savile Park.
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Actors Nohail Mohammed and Sam Retford spoke to Build ahead of the release of season three, and they discussed the scandals of the latest season.
Mohammed said: “At the end of season two you see the Valley Trust kind of take over, so in season three that’s where it’s heading.
“So you are getting a load of new teachers and we get more students as well, so you see a lot more diversity as well.”
There will be some new additions to the cast of season four with Life actress Robyn Cara playing mixed-race pupil Kayla.
Her best friend Fizza (Yasmin Al Khudhairi) will also be introduced in the upcoming season with Ryan Dean playing Johnny, their new school crush.
The fourth season will be made up of 10 episodes and it is due to air on Channel 4 across a two-week period in 2021.
Channel 4 revealed the episodes will be airing earlier in the evening, but an exact air time is yet to be announced.
An official fan page for the series revealed filming had resumed for season four in September 2020, and fans showed their excitement.
One fan said: “It will be just fabulous to have you back in #Halifax guys. We love having you around.”
Another viewer said: “It’s the best school drama since Waterloo Road and Grange Hill! So glad there’s a new series, the world needs Ackley Bridge.”
Ackley Bridge airs on Channel 4
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