Viewers are finally returning to Ackley Bridge, with a fifth season on the horizon and kicking off this July 2022.

Earlier this month, exclusively revealed a brand new clip from the school drama, as Ackley Bridge tackles sex education in a hilarious season 5 first-look.

The clip teases student counsellor Kaneez Paracha's rather unorthodox attitude to sex education, in addition to student Kayla's anxieties about her new relationship with Johnny.

The season will also introduce brand new characters, while Top Boy's Ashley Walters is making his directorial debut, helming five episodes as Reza Moradi (Teachers, Hetty Feather) directs the other five.

Read on for the cast and characters in Ackley Bridge season 5.

Robert James-Collier plays Martin Evershed

Ackley Bridge
Robert James-Collier plays Martin Evershed in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Martin Evershed? The returning headteacher of the titular secondary school in Yorkshire, he's under more scrutiny than ever before this season.

Where have I seen Robert James-Collier before? The actor is best known for playing footman-turned-butler Thomas Barrow in period drama Downton Abbey (and its subsequent film franchise) and Liam Connor in Coronation Street. He has also appeared in Urban Myths, Moving On, Vera, Death in Paradise and Fate: The Winx Saga.

Sunetra Sarker plays Kaneez Paracha

Ackley Bridge
Sunetra Sarker as Kaneez Paracha and Adam Little as Kyle in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Kaneez Paracha? The school's straight-talking dinner lady-turned-student counsellor who is tasked with teaching sex education at Ackley Bridge this season, in addition to aiding troublemaking student Kyle.

Where have I seen Sunetra Sarker before? She's starred in Ackley Bridge since 2017, and is also known for starring in Casualty (as Zoe Hanna), Broadchurch (as Sahana Harrison), The Smoking Room, No Angels, Informer, Cold Feet, and The Bay.

Charlie Hardwick plays Sue Carp

Sue Carp
Charlie Hardwick plays Sue Carp in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Sue Carp? The returning Director of Behaviour at the school.

Where have I seen Charlie Hardwick before? Best known for playing Val Pollard in ITV's Emmerdale, she's also known for Billy Elliot and Vera, among the projects.

Laila Zaidi plays Asma Farooqi

Ackley Bridge
Laila Zaidi plays Asma Farooqi in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Asma Farooqi? A new character, she's a hotshot English teacher concealing a secret, and who is set to ruffle feathers.

Where have I seen Laila Zaidi before? She's starred in Holby City, Mood, and Benidorm.

Robyn Cara plays Kayla

Ackley Bridge
Robyn Cara plays Kayla in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Kayla? A student at Ackley Bridge, at the end of last season she struck up a relationship with fellow student Johnny, which will be explored this season.

Where have I seen Robyn Cara before? You may recognise her as Kat in the TV series Life. Additionally, she has starred in The Rising, Trying, and We Die Young.

Ryan Dean plays Johnny

Ackley Bridge
Ryan Dean plays Johnny in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Johnny? A new student and teen heartthrob last season, last season he left his secret fiancée Rose at the altar in order to start a relationship with Kayla.

Where have I seen Ryan Dean? He played Murka in the film The Gentlemen, and has starred in Doctors, Holby City, and Penny on M.A.R.S.

Yasmin Al-Khudhairi plays Fizza

Ackley Bridge
Yasmin Al-Khudhairi plays Fizza in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Fizza? Kayla's best friend last season, season 5 will likely address their friendship and whether it can continue given her own romantic history with Johnny.

Where have I seen Yasmin Al-Khudhairi before? Outside of Ackley Bridge, she's probably best known for playing Lydia in Stath Lets Flats.

Jasmine Payne plays Queenie

Ackley Bridge
Jasmine Payne plays Queenie in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Queenie? Johnny's sister, and fellow student at Ackley Bridge.

Where have I seen Jasmine Payne before? She has starred in Moving On and 4 O'Clock Club.

Megan Morgan plays Marina

Ackley Bridge
Megan Morgan plays Marina in Ackley Bridge Channel 4

Who is Marina? Kayla's popular Queen Bee sister, who is set to encounter the darker side of social media this season.

Where have I seen Megan Morgan before? Outside of Ackley Bridge, Morgan has starred in Hollyoaks.

Ackley Bridge airs from Monday 11th July to Friday 15th July, with two episodes a night on Channel 4. The show will also be box set on All 4, where seasons 1-4 are currently available to stream.

While you’re waiting for season 5, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide.

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