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Get to know the cast of Ackley Bridge season 5

THE wait for season five of Ackley Bridge is almost over, as the series returns with 10 episodes in July.

Get to know the cast that will be returning for season five of Ackley Bridge and also the new faces joining.

Who is in Ackley Bridge Season 5?

There will be many familiar faces in Ackley Bridge Season 5 but some new ones too.

Here is the cast of Ackley Bridge Season 5.

Robert James-Collier

Robert James-Collier researched into the education system as part of preparation for his role

Robert James-Collier researched into the education system as part of preparation for his roleCredit: Channel 4

Robert James-Collier was born on September 23, 1976, in Stockport and will be returning as Ackley Bridge College’s headteacher, Martin Evershed.

He recently also worked on Fate: The Winx Saga, and will be returning as Saul Silva for Season 2 of that too.

Robert is very passionate about his role after he admitted that he even made his own research into the education system in one corporate entity.

He said: “A lot of academies are run as business so profit comes before education.

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“For me personally, I don’t think that should ever be allowed into the equation.

“I know some people say it’s a way for private businesses to bring innovation into the public sector because it can get stagnated but I don’t buy that.

“I think they should be kept separate. It’s a hallowed thing the education of children. It should be vocational.”

Charlie Hardwick

You might know Charlie Hardwick from Emmerdale

You might know Charlie Hardwick from EmmerdaleCredit: Channel 4

Born on November 3, 1960, Charlie Hardwick has been on the screens of Brits for quite some time.

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She is mostly famous for her role of Val Pollard, who then becomes Val Lambert, on Emmerdale.

Charlie portrays the role of Sue Carp on Ackley Bridge, the Acting Deputy Head Teacher director of pupil behaviour.

In the series, Sue can be seen being quite strict with the pupils and does not have a happy relationship with them, but she admits that this is only on screen, because in reality, she enjoys working with the young actors.

Sunetra Sarker

Sunetra Sarker returns as Kaneez Paracha in season five

Sunetra Sarker returns as Kaneez Paracha in season fiveCredit: Channel 4

Born on June 25, 1973, in Liverpool, Sunetra Sarker will return as Kaneez Paracha, ex-wife to Iqbal and a mother to Nasreen, Razia and Saleem.

Kaneez used to be one of the school’s lunch staff but when headteacher Mandy Carter is left impressed with how she deals with students, she urges her to apply for the role of student support officer, which she gets.

Sunetra is also an associate producer of Ackley Bridge and in an interview with Channel 4, she said about her character: “Kaneez is a mouthy single mother with a headscarf shouting the odds at other Muslim people.

“You don’t know always how that’s going to land.

“It would be easier sometimes to just not have her say anything but I got a chance to play a woman – who has a voice in a show that hadn’t had a voice before.”

Laila Zaidi

Laila Zaidi will take on the role of Asma Farooqi

Laila Zaidi will take on the role of Asma FarooqiCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk

Laila Zaidi will be portraying the role of Asma Farooqi, the new English teacher at Ackley Bridge.

She also portrays Cyd on Benidorm and previously worked on BBC soap Doctors.

Asma wants her students to fight for social justice and tries to help them have a brain of their own rather than being fooled by what authorities have to say.

While being an eye-opener to her students and broadening their horizons, Asma – who’s a Hijab-wearing Muslim – is keeping a dark secret, that she’s an alcoholic.

When learning more about her character, Laila had to keep several things in mind as she explained.

She told Channel 4: “One thing that we spoke about, which I think is really important is that often Muslim women are portrayed as either victims or as kick-ass strong women.

“With this season of Ackley Bridge we really wanted to avoid both those extremes.

“Here is this Muslim woman who is trying to do her best.

“She’s a really good Muslim but she is also flawed because people have flaws, that’s what makes her interesting.

“That’s what makes her unique. She isn’t perfect but nor is anyone.

“There is not one way to be any religion.

“Also Asma is not supposed to be representing all Muslim women.

“There is no such think as one type of Muslim woman.

“So I think the writers have done brilliantly.”

Ryan Dean

Johnny is part of the travelling community

Johnny is part of the travelling community

Ryan Dean – who also portrayed Murka in The Gentlemen – portrays the role of Johnny Cooper.

Johnny is a traveller and faces difficulties with his living state and financial stability.

He explained how to prepare for such a role, he had to look into such travelling communities, to portray and understand them as much as he can.

Ryan said: “For me with Johnny it was always just looking back at the Romany Gypsy community, the Travelling community, and trying to understand their roots and how they would feel if they were places into a certain way of life.”

Yasmin Al-Khudhairi

Yasmin Al-Khudairi deals with social injustice issues and with mental heealth issues in the series

Yasmin Al-Khudairi deals with social injustice issues and with mental heealth issues in the seriesCredit: Channel 4

Yasmin Al-Khudairi has involved herself in some great shows such as Killing Eve and Hilda.

On Ackley Bridge, she portrays the character of Fizza Akhtar.

She is romantically involved with Johnny Cooper but goes on to have quite a complicated relationship with him.

She also admires the new English teacher for her political views and open-mindedness, as Fizza also goes to an LGBTQ+ poetry night.

She also led an anti-sex education protest at her school.

She also had to deal with her father Asif’s mental health and to prepare for such a role, Yasmin had to dig deep into research.

Yasmin said: “With Fizza and Asif’s storyline it was very specific because I think mental health doesn’t always get spoken about or reflected in the right way when you are watching it on TV.

“I was researching how the UK deals with mental health through the care and mental health acts.

“I was also going in a bit deeper on a personal level understanding how children in the UK have to be carers to their parents who are struggling with mental illness and how that really affects their whole development in adult life.”

Robyn Cara

Robyn Cara portrays Kayla Azfal in Channel 4s Ackley Bridge

Robyn Cara portrays Kayla Azfal in Channel 4s Ackley BridgeCredit: Channel 4

Robyn Cara featured in other works such as Life, The Rising and Trying.

In Ackley Bridge, she portrays the role of Kayla Afzal, who’s Fizza’s best friend.

She has been crushing on Johnny Cooper since she ever saw him, but had to wait to eventually confess her feelings, after he showed interest in Fizza.

Kayla feels as if she cannot fit in anywhere and had pictures of her body hair posted online for everyone to see by her half-sister Marina.

Cody Ryan

Cody Ryan portrays Hayley Booth in Channel 4s Ackley Bridge

Cody Ryan portrays Hayley Booth in Channel 4s Ackley BridgeCredit: Channel 4

Cody Ryan is also known for her other roles on The Moorside and Doctors.

She has been portraying the role of Hayley Booth ever since the show started.

Hayley and her sister Missy – portrayed by Poppy Lee Friar – had to deal with home problems as their mother was unfit to raise them.

They were brought up by their grandmother Julie Booth but when she died, her mother had to try to convince social services that she is fit to take care of her children.

Adam Little

Adam Little will be dealt by Kaneez to get his behaviour in order

Adam Little will be dealt by Kaneez to get his behaviour in orderCredit: Channel 4

Adam Little will be joining the cast to portray the role of Kyle Dobson.

Kyle faces difficulties and home, is influenced by some of the racist views that the community brainwashed him with and is a young offender.

He will have to be dealt with by Kaneez, the school councillor.

You might have caught 19-year-old Adam on other British TV shows such as Coronation Street, Years and Years and The Dumping Ground.

Who else is in the cast?

The above characters will not be facing the difficulties at Ackley Bridge all alone.

The following cast members will also be bringing other characters to life:

  • Yousef Naseer as Saleem Paracha
  • Lorraine Cheshire as school receptionist Lorraine Bird
  • Fern Deacon as Chloe Voyle
  • Samantha Power as Simone Booth
  • Tony Jayawardena as science teacher Rashid Hyatt
  • Phoebe Tuffs-Berry as Rukhsana Ibrahim
  • Zara Salim as Kacey ‘Spud’ Gartside
  • Hareet Deol as Hassan Hussein
  • Megan Morgan as Marina Perry
  • Jasmine Payne as Queenie Cooper
  • Olivia Marie Fearn as Rose Boswell

When is Ackley Bridge on Channel 4?

The new episodes of Ackley Bridge will land on Channel 4 on July 11, 2022, at 10pm.

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There will be 10 new episodes in season five, two of which will air on the first night.

Just in case you miss the episodes on Monday night, they will be all available to watch on All 4 once they air.