Ackley Bridge cast

Where are the original cast of Ackley Bridge now? From Samuel Bottomley to Jo Joyner

It's been a busy post-Ackley Bridge time for this lot

The Ackley Bridge cast was studded with top names and newcomers alike.

Now it’s on its way back for fifth series later this year.

But where are the cast of the first four series… and what are they doing now?

Sheridan Smith and Samuel Bottomley in The Teacher
Samuel in The Teacher (Credit: Channel 5)

Ackley Bridge cast: Samuel Bottomley

Twenty-year-old Samuel played Jordan Wilson in the Channel 4 school drama for two series.

Since Ackley Bridge, Samuel has gone from strength to strength.

Read more: The Teacher on C5: What’s it about, how many episodes is it and is it a true story?

And now he’s appearing in new Channel 5 thriller, The Teacher, with Sheridan Smith.

The series – which starts tonight (Monday January 31) tells the story of teacher Jenna Garvey (Sheridan) who is accused of sleeping with one of her students (Kyle).

After The Teacher, Samuel will appear in another Channel 4 drama, The Birth Of Daniel F Ferris.

Former Ackley Bridge star Jo Joyner in Ackley Bridge
Jo Joyner in Stay Close (Credit: Netflix)

Ackley Bridge cast: Jo Joyner

The former EastEnders star, 44, played headteacher Mandy Carter in Ackley Bridge for four series.

Since then, Jo has been a staple of daytime TV thanks to her role as Lu Hathaway in cosy crime drama, Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators.

Jo also appeared in the Netflix, Harlan Coben crime drama Stay Close alongside Cush Jumbo, James Nesbitt and Richard Armitage.

Paul Nicholls played Joe Wicks in EastEnders
Paul Nicholls played Joe Wicks in EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

Ackley Bridge cast: Paul Nicholls

Heartthrob Paul played Mandy’s husband Steve Bell in the show for two series.

A former star of Holby City and EastEnders, Paul, 42, was one of the most recognisable actors in the UK.

However, he admitted last year that his history of substance abuse could end his life.

In an interview in 2021, he said he “will die” if he doesn’t stop.

Former Ackley Bridge star Sunetra Sarker stars in The Bay
Sunetra Sarker in The Bay (Credit: ITV)

Sunetra Sarker

Since Ackley Bridge – where she played Kaneez Paracha for four series – 48-year-old Sunetra has gone from strength to strength.

Roles in Casualty (as Zoe Hanna), BBC thriller Informer, Cold Feet and The Bay means it has been a busy few years since the last series of Ackley Bridge.

Sunetra also appears as a panellist on Loose Women from time to time.

Away from the camera, Sunetra is married to Scott Carey.

Not only is their marriage unconventional (it’s a long-distance relationship and she has no plans to move in with him), the couple owns a business that makes a bacteria-killing product.

Former Ackley Bridge star on GMB
Adil Ray and Susanna Reid on GMB (Credit: ITV)

Adil Ray

For three series, Adil played teacher Sadiq Nawaz – who had an affair with headteacher Mandy.

But now viewers will recognise Adil, 47, from a whole different genre.

The one-time Citizen Khan star is now part of the regular rotation of presenters on ITV’s breakfast show, Good Morning Britain.

He also fronts daytime word game, Lingo, on ITV, too.

Liz White starred in Unforgotten after Ackley Bridge
Liz White as Fiona Grayson in Unforgotten (Credit: ITV)

Liz White

Known in Ackley Bridge for playing English teacher Emma Keane, the character was famed for her testy relationship with daughter Chloe and her affair with colleague Samir.

Away from Ackley Bridge, 42-year-old Liz last appeared in the ITV crime drama Unforgotten in 2021 as suspect Fiona Grayson.

Amy-Leigh Hickman starred in Ackley Bridge
Amy-Leigh in ITV’s Innocent (Credit: ITV)

Amy-Leigh Hickman

Playing conflicted Nasreen Paracha for three series in Ackley Bridge, 24-year-old Amy-Leigh has hit the heights since her appearance in the drama.

She appeared in the Harlan Coben Netflix thriller Safe in 2018, and then landed the main role in series four of BBC One army drama Our Girl, taking over from Michelle Keegan.

Amy-Leigh also appeared in series two of ITV crime drama Innocent in 2021.

Anneika Rose in Line Of Duty
Anneika in Line of Duty (Credit: BBC)

Anneika Rose

Actress Anneika played science teacher Lila Shariff, who was involved in a gay previous relationship with student Nasreen.

Since leaving Ackley Bridge after series one, we’ve seen a lot of Anneika.

Most recently, she played Nicky in Channel 4 thriller Deadwater Fell, Farida Jatri in series six of Line Of Duty and Maggie Kean in the last series of Shetland.

Anneika will next appear in Sky’s upcoming supernatural drama The Midwich Cuckoos alongside Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley.

Ackley Bridge star Sam Retford as Curtis in Corrie
Sam as Curtis in Corrie (Credit: ITV)

Sam Retford

Playing student Cory Wilson for three series, 22-year-old Sam landed a huge role after he left Ackley Bridge.

He appeared as Curtis Delamere in the ITV soap last year.

Curtis has been with Emma Brooker since the start of the show, but it was recently revealed that he had been lying to his wife about a heart condition and was accused of stealing charity money.

In 2021, Curtis also appeared in an episode of Death In Paradise, playing Joseph Verdinikov.

Former Ackley Bridge star Megan Parkinson
Megan in Rules Of The Game (Credit: BBC)

Megan Parkinson

Megan’s character in Ackley Bridge – Sam Murgatroyd – had a feisty fling with fellow student Nasreen.

We most recently saw the Games Of Thrones star in BBC One thriller, Rules Of The Game, as Gemma.

In it, she appeared alongside the likes of Maxine Peake.

Ackley Bridge cast
Robyn Cara as Kayla and Yasmin Al Fizza Khudhairi as Fizza (Credit: Stuart Wood / Channel 4)

Robyn Cara

Playing pupil Kaya Afzal in series four, 26-year-old Robyn has enjoyed a strong post-Ackley Bridge career.

She appeared in the hit Apple TV+ comedy romcom series Trying alongside Rafe Spall and Esther Smith.

Read more: Benidorm star Laila Zaidi to appear in Ackley Bridge as new series confirmed by Channel 4

Her next project is Sky’s supernatural crime drama, The Rising, with Matthew McNulty.

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