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Thursday 5th December 2019

Viewers thrilled to see Emmerdale's Val Pollard - aka Charlie Hardwick - back on telly

She's joined the cast of Ackley Bridge

School drama Ackley Bridge returned with a scream last night (literally) and TV fans were thrilled to spot an Emmerdale favourite amongst the cast.

The third series of the Halifax-based drama saw Charlie Hardwick join the school as new teacher Sue Carp.

Charlie Hardwick has joined the cast of Ackley Bridge as Sue Harp (Credit: C4)

Read more: Emmerdale fans frustrated as Nate makes an infuriating 'blunder' while battling to save Kyle

Charlie, who played Val Pollard for 13 years in the ITV soap, plays the disenchanted and distinctly unPC newly-appointed Director of Behaviour, whose sharp tongue rubs both teachers and pupils up the wrong way.

And soapies were delighted to see the actress join the cast, alongside fellow former soap star Robert James-Collier - who portrayed Liam Connor in Coronation Street, before his famous role as twisted butler Thomas Barrow in Downton Abbey.

Good to see Val Pollard in Ackley Bridge.

One viewer tweeted: "Liam Connor and Val Pollard in Ackley Bridge! This is brilliant! #AckleyBridge."

Read more: Emmerdale SPOILER: Jai and Laurel's romance uncovered

Another added: "Good to see Val Pollard in Ackley Bridge."

A third typed: "Val from Emmerdale and Liam from Coronation Street!!! Ackley Bridge must have the best casting directors in the business!"

"Queen Val in Ackley Bridge," squealed one more.

Talking about her new role, Charlie said: "The scenes I was sent for the audition captured my imagination instantly. They were brilliantly written, very near the knuckle but very funny.

"I thought this woman is a nightmare, let me at her! She's a loose cannon and a professional nightmare!"

Is Sue Harp as harsh as she seems? (Credit: C4)

Jo Joyner, also a former soap star, returned as the school's headmistress Mandy, opposite James-Collier's new Deputy Head Martin Evershed.

In the finale of the second series, the future of Ackley Bridge looked precarious as Mandy was struggling to figure out how she could afford to keep the school open without having to make mass redundancies or sell off its assets.

At the last minute, the school was taken over and saved by the Valley Trust... And to Mandy's relief, she held onto her job as headteacher.

Ackley Bridge series three kicked off with a bang (Credit: C4)

However, the school's 'new era' sees Mr Evershed and Sue Carp arrive ready to "whip the pupils into shape" and "ruffle some feathers" in the upcoming series.

As Ackley's Year 13 pupils enter their final year, they all face questions about their future. Nas interviews for a place at Oxford University with her best mate Missy joining her for an eventful 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 their relationship survive?

Did you spot Val Pollard in Ackley Bridge? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!