Who’s who in Ackley Bridge?

Who’s who in Ackley Bridge?

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Wednesday, 28th April 2021
Robyn Cara, Yasmin Al Khudhairi and Ryan Dean as Kayla, Fizza and Johnny (credit: Channel 4)

Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge has finally returned to our screens for another series of high school drama and culture clashes.

Fan favourites Nas (Amy-Leigh Hickman) and Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) were among those who left at the end of the last series, but there are plenty of pupils joining the returning cast to fill the gaps.

Among the newcomers are Kayla Azfal (Robyn Cara) and Fizza Akhtar (Yasmin Al Khudhairi), loyal best friends but both lovestruck by new boy Johnny Cooper (Ryan Dean).

Given the two-year hiatus and all the new faces, we thought viewers new and old could do with a little refresher course. Find out who's who in Ackley Bridge.

Meet the pupils

Kayla Azfal (Robyn Cara)

(credit: Channel 4)

Smart, lovable and funny, Kayla is new to series four but was previously already a pupil. She is best friends with Fizza and has a crush on new boy Johnny (although she is not the only one).

She is also torn between the two sides of her family: her white British mother and traditional Pakistani father.

Fizza Akhtar (Yasmin Al Khudhairi)

Fizza and Kayla (credit: Channel 4)

Fizza is a quick witted firebrand and the best friend of Kayla, ever the rebel and rejecting the strict ground rules set by her more traditional mother.

Johnny Cooper (Ryan Dean)

(credit: Channel 4)

New boy Johnny is a Prince Charming from the Romany Gypsy community, who catches Kayla’s eye upon his grand arrival on horseback at the school gates.

He’s cocky yet loyal and compassionate, if a bit unsure of his own heart, and suspicious of his new surroundings.

Marina Perry (Carla Woodcock)

(credit: Channel 4)

Marina is the spiteful half-sister of Kayla, and despite being a new pupil she is already an Ackley ‘it girl’.

Tahir Randhawa (Shobhit Piasa)

(credit: Channel 4)

Another making his debut is the smooth-talking/compulsively lying nephew of Kaneez, Tahir, who will come to ruffle a few feathers with his salesman patter.

Hayley Booth (Cody Ryan)

(credit: Channel 4)

Hayley is now in the care of her estranged mother Simone after the death of her older sister Missy (Poppy Lee Friar).

She was in a rocky relationship with the boastful Riz Nawaz, and now the lying Tahir could cause her further upset.

Razia Paracha (Nazmeen Kauser)

(credit: Channel 4)

Razia is the daughter of student support worker Kaneez and the sister of Nasreen (Amy-Leigh Hickman) and Saleem (Esa Ashraf/Yaseen Khan). Her and Hayley are best friends, but they turned romantic rivals in series two when both in pursuit of Riz.

It was her science teacher Rashid Hyatt who first noticed her struggling in class and informed her that she suffers from dyspraxia.

Rukhsana (Rukhi) Ibrahim (Phoebe Tuffs-Berry)

(credit: Channel 4)

Rukhi transferred from the Valley Trust to Ackley Bridge in series three with her cousin Pawel Nowicki.

She cares for her mother and youngest sibling, while clashing with her older and more traditional older brother.

Kacey ‘Spud’ Gartside (Zara Salim)

Rukhi and Spud (credit: Channel 4)

Spud is Debbie’s (Vicky Myers) daughter and best friends with Rukhi.

She found out in series three that school sponsor Sadiq Nawaz is her father, making Alya her half-sister.

Sam Murgatroyd (Megan Parkinson)

(credit: Channel 4)

Sam is the loud and confrontational cousin of Candice, and previously dated Nasreen Paracha.

She is now living in a youth centre having been made homeless by her family due to her betrayal; reporting her mother, Nadine (Natalie Gavin), to the police for burgling Martin Evershed’s house.

Chloe Voyle (Fern Deacon)

(credit: Channel 4)

The rebellious Chloe is the daughter of former English teacher Emma Keane (Liz White) and Nik Voyle (Stuart Manning).

Having moved into her mother’s house in Ackley Bridge from London where she previously lived with her father, Chloe and Emma continue to have a strained relationship.


Meet the staff

Kaneez Paracha (Sunetra Sarker)

(credit: Channel 4)

Once a dinner lady and now a student support worker, Kaneez is also the mother of former pupil Nasreen and current pupils Razia and Saleem.

She was also once a strictly traditional wife denying her daughter Nasreen’s sexuality and encouraging an arranged marriage, but she came to embrace her own independence and a new romance with Rashid.

Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick)

(credit: Channel 4)

Sue is the apathetic disciplinarian Director of Behaviour who joined the staff in series three.

Choosing to transfer from the Valley Trust over being fired, she is now simply counting down the days until retirement.

Hassan Hussein (Hareet Deol)

(credit: Channel 4)

A PE teacher playing it a bit too cool, Hassan chooses chumminess over discipline.

Mandy Carter (Jo Joyner)

(credit: Channel 4)

Hardworking headteacher Mandy Carter is widely regarded as the most caring teacher in the series, but her personal life sometimes gets in the way.

Mandy left on maternity leave towards the end of series three, but returned early after discovering that her temporary replacement, Sian Oakes (Ty Glaser), was grooming student Cory Wilson (Sam Retford).

Martin Evershed (Robert James Collier)

(credit: Channel 4)

Martin is Ackley Bridge’s deputy headteacher and passionate, if unorthodox, English teacher, who transferred alongside Sue Carp from Valley Trust in series three.

He became interim headteacher after Sian Oakes’ suspension and awaits a baptism of fire this series.

Rashid Hyatt (Tony Jayawardena)

(credit: Channel 4)

Rashid is Ackley Bridge’s compassionate science teacher, who celebrated a ‘non proposal’ with his fiancé Kaneez in series three.

Ackley Bridge is currently airing weekdays on Channel 4 at 6pm. The entire four series are available on All4.

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Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge has finally returned to our screens for another series of high school drama and culture clashes.