Ackley Bridge season 5 release date: Cast, plot and news on drama's return
Here's everything you need to know about Ackley Bridge season 5 following season 4's dramatic finale. ** WARNING – spoilers for season 4 ahead **
Viewers are returning to Ackley Bridge for a fifth season starting in July 2022.
Channel 4 has confirmed the show's return and the release date for the fifth season, airing over a year after the season 4 finale, with the West Yorkshire school students attending the wedding of Johnny and his secret fiancée Rose.
Top Boy's Ashley Walters is making his directorial debut for season 5, helming five episodes while Reza Moradi (Teachers, Hetty Feather) directs the other five.
The drama series shook things up for its fourth outing, with each shorter, 30-minute episode airing at its new teatime slot on Channel 4 and introducing new characters, new relationships and new family dynamics.
Here's everything we know so far about Ackley Bridge season 5.
Ackley Bridge season 5 release date
Ackley Bridge season 5 will air on Channel 4 from 11th July 2022.
Season 4 was meant to air on Channel 4 in September 2020, but due to COVID-19, production was delayed and the drama didn't return to our screens until April 2021.
RadioTimes.com previously predicted that it would be a huge surprise if Ackley Bridge didn't come back for a fifth season considering the number of storylines there are to explore – from Jules and Martin's relationship to the aftermath of Johnny and Rose's wedding.
Ackley Bridge season 5 plot
** WARNING – spoilers for season 4 ahead **
Ten brand new episodes will return viewers to the classroom as Johnny (Ryan Dean), Kayla (Robyn Cara), and Fizza (Yasmin Al Khudhairi) navigate the second half of the school year.
In a synopsis, Channel 4 teases: "Life gets complicated for Marina (Megan Morgan), Kayla’s popular Queen Bee sister, just as her younger brother Kyle (Adam Little), Ackley’s newest pupil and troublemaker, turns up at school, fresh out of juvie.
"It’s been a year already jam-packed with love triangles, catfishing, compulsive liars and one utterly joyous (albeit failed) gypsy wedding. But it’s not over until the last school bell rings and there’s still plenty of time before the sun breaks on the summer holidays…"
Meanwhile, the adults have their own drama to contend with. "Martin (Robert James-Collier) finds his role as Head under the spotlight as Ken (George Potts) – true to form – continues to be a raging pain in the proverbial. Things get trickier still for Martin when Asma (Laila Zaidi), Ackley’s new hotshot teacher joins the staff to immediately ruffle some feathers," the broadcaster says.
"Kaneez (Sunetra Sarker) is back at the beating heart of the school and is presented with her biggest challenge yet, in the form of new boy Kyle. Sue (Charlie Hardwick) does her best to impress Ken which could lead to a change in career."
After a dramatic season 4 finale, there's a lot for Ackley Bridge to explore in a fifth series – namely Kayla and Johnny's new relationship.
In season four's final episode, we watched as Johnny left his secret fiancée Rose at the alter to run away with Kayla. Another series is likely to follow the couple as their relationship progresses and address Kayla and Fizz can continue to be friends considering Fizz's romantic history with Johnny. We'll also watch as Johnny comes to terms with the loss of his grandfather, who died mid-way through season four.
Similarly, romance is in the air for Deputy Headteacher Martin Evershed, who fell victim to Marina's cruel cat-fishing prank in series four but ended up with her mother Jules, whose photos Marina had used in the fake dating profile.
In the series finale, Marina and Kayla saw Martin leave their house after spending the night with their mother. A fifth series is likely to explore how Marina and Kayla feel about their mother dating their teacher, how that will affect their school life and whether Martin will continue with the relationship.
Ackley Bridge season 5 cast
We're likely to see long-standing Ackley Bridge cast members Sunetra Sarker (Kaneez Paracha), Megan Parkinson (Sam), Fern Deacon (Chloe), Cody Ryan (Hayley), Nazmeen Kauser (Razia), Robert James-Collier (Martin Evershed) and Tony Jayawardena (Rashid Hyatt).
We're unlikely to see Jo Joyner, however, considering her character Mandy Carter revealed in series four that she was stepping down as headteacher and starting a school in Nepal. Similarly, Connor McIntyre won't reprise his role as Johnny's grandad as the character died in series four.
We'll hopefully see the newer cast members return for a fifth outing, including Charlie Hardwick (Sue Carp), Hareet Deol (Hassan Hussein), Carla Woodcock (Marina), Shobhit Piasa (Tahir), Robyn Cara (Kayla), Yasmin Al Khudhairi (Fizza) and Ryan Dean (Johnny).
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