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Ackley Bridge season one now

Six years on, this is what the cast of Ackley Bridge season one are all up to now

Many OG cast members left the show to pursue bigger projects


Ackley Bridge recently dropped on Netflix, giving viewers the chance to relive the dramas of the fictional Yorkshire high school. The series first dropped on Channel 4 in 2017, with saw the school face various problems between the students and teachers when another school is merged into theirs.

The series featured the likes of Amy-Leigh Hickman, Jo Joyner and Adil Ray, with some of the cast going on to star in Netflix hits and going viral on TikTok. With season one being so long ago, the Ackley Bridge cast have all gone on to do some pretty cool projects. If you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s a look at what the season one cast of Ackley Bridge are all doing now.

Poppy Lee Friar – Missy Booth

Missy Booth is easily the most memorable character in Ackley Bridge, who was played by actress Poppy Lee Friar. Poppy soon exited the role in season three, much to the shock of fans. It is believed Poppy chose to leave the show to explore new acting opportunities.

In a statement at the time of her departure, Poppy said: “It’s always sad saying goodbye to a character you’ve played but they always stay in your heart, so Missy is alive forever within me. I adored playing her.”

Following her time on the show, Poppy Lee Friar went on to star in the Channel 4 drama series In My Skin as Lydia. Her other projects include the TV movies Life and Death in the Warehouse and My Name Is Leon.

Her upcoming projects include The Brontes, where she portrays Emily Bronte, where she will star alongside Daniel Portman.

Amy-Leigh Hickman – Nasreen Paracha

Talking about her role in Our Girl, Amy revealed she missed the physical training required for Our Girl in order to finish her scenes on Ackley Bridge. Following her success on both programmes, Amy landed herself the role of Nadia, in Netflix’s YOU.

She also starred in the ITV series Ruby Speaking, a Bristol-based series which follows Ruby’s misadventures working in a call centre. The series is inspired by the years Jayde Adams spent working in a call centre.

Jo Joyner – Mandy Carter

Jo Joyner was already an established actress prior to appearing on Ackley Bridge, with her best known role being Tanya Branning in BBC soap EastEnders.

Jo played the role of headmistress Mandy Carter, and she departed from the series in the fourth season. Mandy’s exit was written as her feeling that the school no longer needed her, with Jo saying she felt the same as her character.

After Ackley Bridge, Jo went on to star in Harlan Coben’s Netflix series, Stay Close, as DC Erin Cartwright. Since then, her other roles have included Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators, Riptide and For Her Sins.

Paul Nicholls – Steve Bell

Paul Nicholls starred as PE teacher Steve Bell in the first two seasons of Ackley Bridge, but didn’t make a return in the third season without much explanation. Paul didn’t star in anything else until 2023 which saw him make a return to acting in another school-based drama.

Paul played the role of Carl in Phoenix Rise, a TV series about a West Midlands school where a group of diverse teenagers take their first steps of being back in education after being excluded.

Sunetra Sarker – Kaneez Paracha

Much like Jo Joyner, Sunetra Sarker was a well established actress prior to Ackley Bridge following her roles in Casualty and The Smoking Room. Since Ackley Bridge, Sunetra starred in Grey Matter and Breeders. She has an upcoming TV series set for release this year called The Lovers.

Adil Ray – Sadiq Nawaz

Adil Ray starred as school sponsor, Sadiq Nawaz, in Ackley Bridge. In 2018, Adil Ray joined Good Morning Britain as a guest presenter, with it being announced in 2021 that he would be replacing Piers Morgan following his departure from the show.

Since Ackley Bridge, Adil has starred as Mandeep Singh in Blithe Spirit and as Imran Khan in the TV mini series, Stephen, which told the story of the struggles of Doreen and Neville Lawrence trying to achieve justice for their son’s death.

Sam Bottomley – Jordan Wilson

Sam Bottommley’s character, Jordan Wilson, was part of one of the most shocking Ackley Bridge storylines which saw Jordan suffer from child abuse at the hands of his father. After starring on the show for 14 episodes, Sam has had an array of lucrative roles in various TV shows and movies.

In 2022, Sam starred as Kyle in Channel 5’s The Teacher and Channel 4’s Somewhere Boy. In 2021, he also played the role of Dean Paxton in the movie musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. His other roles include Boy in Am I Being Unreasonable and Ralph in Ladhood.

Liz White – Emma Keane

Liz starred as English teacher Emma Keane in season one of Ackley Bridge. Following the end of the series, Liz went on to appear in ITV crime drama Unforgotten as suspect Fiona Grayson.

Liz is currently performing in Dixon and Daughters at The National Theatre.

Sam Retford – Cory Wilson

Sam played the role of Cory Wilson for three seasons before landing himself a massive role on Coronation Street in 2021. Sam starred as Curtis Delamere in the ITV soap. That same year, he also appeared in an episode of Death In Paradise.

He has also starred in the TV series Ralph & Katie and Blindspot.

Nohail Mohammed – Riz Nawaz

Nohail Mohammed’s first role was as Riz Nawaz in Ackley Bridge for 23 episodes. Following his time on the show, he went on to star in Side By Side, Round My Way and Casualty.

Nohail is now a big name on TikTok, with over 18 million likes and 566,000 followers. He shares various videos like daily vlogs, hauls and POVs.

Ackley Bridge is available to watch on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

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