Ackley Bridge back in West Yorkshire: Everything you need to know about series three of the Channel 4 drama

Jo Joyner stars in Ackley Bridge.
Jo Joyner stars in Ackley Bridge.
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All you need to know about the new series of the Channel 4 drama set in a West Yorkshire school.

When's it on and what channel? Tuesday, June 18 at 8pm on Channel 4.

How many episodes? Ackley Bridge returns for another run of eight laugh-out-loud, irreverent and highly emotional episodes set in and around a school designed to unite the divided white and Asian communities of a small Yorkshire mill town.

What's happening in series three? The school is now part of a large multi-academy trust. Mandy (Jo Joyner) has a new nightmare boss Ken (George Potts) who has dumped a load of unmanageable kids from the trust’s other schools on to her. At least Mandy has gained Ken’s new trusted A-team of senior staff but she soon learns to her horror that they’re not an A-team at all… but rejects Ken’s trying to get rid of.

Any other new faces? New hot-headed Deputy Head Martin (Robert James-Collier) locks horns with Sam Murgatroyd’s formidable mum just released from prison and new Year 10 bad girl Rukhsana (Phoebe Tuffs-Berry) runs rings around Sue (Charlie Hardwick), the disenchanted and distinctly un PC newly appointed Director of Behaviour whose sharp tongue rubs teachers and pupils alike up the wrong way.

What about the older kids? As Ackley’s Year 13 pupils enter their final year they all face questions about their future. Nas (Amy-Leigh Hickman) interviews for a place at Oxford University with her best mate Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) joining her for a hilarious road trip out of Yorkshire. However, once Nas overcomes her nerves and insecurities, Oxford starts looking like a reality and it soon becomes apparent that her life is heading in a different direction to best friend Missy’s. Will our best friends be blown apart?

Where was it filmed? Film crews were spotted a number of times in and around Halifax earlier this year. Westgate Arcade in Halifax town centre was used a number of times and cameras were also spotted outside Wilko’s on Corn Market and in Halifax Borough Market.

What about the actual school? Most of the main drama in the show happens inside the walls of Ackley Bridge College, which is filmed at the former St Catherine’s Catholic High School in Holmfield.

Were any local youngsters involved? Young people from across the district feature as extras during class scenes and were recruited from schools across West Yorkshire.

Charlie Hardwick (formerly Val Pollard in Emmerdale) who plays Sue Hardwick says: "I miss my old Emmerdale comrades but we keep in touch. It was great working in West Yorkshire again because I got to hang out with some of them. I loved playing Val but I was spending more time as her than me! So after 12 years, I felt it was time to explore new creative avenues. And look what came my way..."