It’s going to be a Long Hot Summer at Ackley Bridge as former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh is joining the staff as a “home-wrecking netball teacher”.
Walsh will guest star as Claire Butterworth in the second series of the Channel 4 school drama, AKA the fiery ex-wife of Steve (Paul Nicholls) and mother to their child Zak.
Her surprise appearance will no doubt ruffle some feathers, and will threaten to drive an even bigger wedge between Mandy (Jo Joyner) and Steve.
Claire had agreed to stay away from the school, given that she is Steve’s ex-wife, however now that Mandy and Steve have broken up (due to Mandy’s affair with Sadiq) she sees no reason to keep her distance when she needs Steve to help look after Zak.
Walsh – who has previously starred in Disney’s The Lodge – said: “It was so much fun appearing as Claire in Ackley Bridge, it’s such a fantastic show with a brilliant cast so it was an honour to be part of it!
“Claire is quite different to other characters I’ve played in the past. She is sassy and strong and comes to blows a few times with Mandy which was really fun to play. It was great fun working with Jo Joyner and Paul Nicholls on this storyline.”
Joyner, Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar, Amy Leigh-Hickman and Arsher Ali will all be reprising their roles for series two.