Channel 4 to bring back Ackley Bridge for 4th series – with a twist

The popular Channel 4 school drama has been renewed for another series, with a shorter running time and a new batch of characters

Ackley Bridge S3 EP2

Channel 4 has announced that popular school-set drama Ackley Bridge will be returning for a fourth series – with a new set of characters and a tweak to the format.

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Instead of airing in hour-long episodes, the series will now consist of 10 episodes, each 30 minutes long.

Rebecca Holdsworth, Commissioning Executive for Channel 4, said that the change “not only reflects the viewing habits of our young audience, but gives the show a new look and feel as we welcome a brand new cast of characters to our screens.”

Ackley Bridge focuses on a fictional Yorkshire academy set up to integrate white and Asian children in a racially divided town. Inspired by real-life schools in Yorkshire and Lancashire, its first three series have earned acclaim for their smart but entertaining portrayal of sensitive real-life issues affecting young people in Britain today.

Although the new series is poised to introduce a new batch of school kids, it will also bring back many of the existing characters, including Kaneez Paracha (Sunetra Sarker), Martin Evershed (Rob James Collier), Mandy Carter (Jo Joyner), Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick), and Rashid Hyatt (Tony Jayawardeena).

Chloe Voyle (Fern Deacon), Rukhasana Ibrahim (Phoebe Tuffs-Berry), Hayley Booth (Cody Ryan), Razia Paracha (Nazmeen Kauser) and Kacey ‘Spud’ Gartside (Zara Salim) are also set to return.

Unfortunately for fans, however, it looks like it might be some time before Ackley Bridge actually returns to screens. The fourth series is not scheduled for broadcast until September 2020. Its most recent series wrapped in August.

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The first three series of Ackley Bridge are available to watch now on All 4