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 five following series four's dramatic finale.

Ackley Bridge

The finale of Ackley Bridge’s fourth series airs tonight, with the West Yorkshire school students attending the wedding of Johnny and his secret fiancée Rose.

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Whether you’ve already binged the whole series on All4 and already know the ending or you’re watching the show as it airs, all Ackley Bridge fans are asking the same question: will the Channel 4 drama be returning for a fifth series?

The 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 – but will they explored even further in a fifth series?

Here’s everything we know so far about Ackley Bridge season five.

Will Ackley Bridge return for a fifth season?

With the fourth series of Ackley Bridge ending tonight, Channel 4 has not yet announced whether the school drama is returning for a fifth series.

After the events of the season finale however, it would be a huge surprise if Ackley Bridge didn’t come back to another series 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 release date

Ackley Bridge series 4 cast
Channel 4

If Ackley Bridge is renewed for a fifth season, it’s unknown when the show is likely to return.

Each series has typically aired every summer, with series one premiering in July 2017, series two arriving in August 2018 and series three airing in August 2019.

Series four 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.

We predict that Ackley Bridge’s fifth series could air at the earliest in April/May 2022 – but that’s if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t cause any further delays to filming.

Ackley Bridge season 5 plot

Ackley Bridge

** WARNING – spoilers for season four ahead **

After a dramatic season 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

Ackley Bridge

If the Channel 4 drama returns for a fifth series, 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.

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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).

Ackley Bridge is available to stream on All4. While you’re waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide.