Drama

Robert James-Collier and Charlie Hardwick join Ackley Bridge

Robert James-Collier and Charlie Hardwick (Credit: Channel 4)

Having recently been taken over by the Valley Trust, new deputy head teacher Martin Evershed (Robert James-Collier) and director of behaviour Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick) are called in to put the school to rights.

Ackley Bridge’s upcoming third season will also see Jo Joyner return as headteacher Mandy Carter, along with Poppy Lee Friar and Amy-Leigh Hickman who play school friends Missy and Nasreen.

 “I am thrilled to be asked to play the part of Martin Evershed, the new Deputy Head at Ackley Bridge,” said Robert James-Collier on his new role.

Top TV picks: 29th December

(Credit: BBC)

The Secret World of Emily Brontë

Channel 4, 6.05pm


(Credit: Channel 4)

Emily Brontë superfan Lily Cole hosts a one-off documentary, The Secret World of Emily Brontë, exploring the Yorkshire landscape that influenced Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.

Cole also makes her own film in this special, Balls, which reimagines Heathcliff’s early life in Liverpool.

Himesh Patel and Ewen Leslie join BBC Two’s new drama The Luminaries

(Credit: BBC)

Set in New Zealand during the 1860s, the series follows British adventurer Ana Wetherell (Eve Hewson) who falls in love with fortune hunter Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), and is plunged into a world of tragedy, mystery and revenge.

The couple must overcome numerous barriers put in their way, particularly from the spiteful Lydia Wells (Eva Green) and rich boy Francis Carver (Marton Csokas).

Bill Malone delivers Dan Gilbert Memorial Lecture

Adrian Dunbar (Jim Hogan) & Carolina Main (Cat Hogan) in Blood (Credit: Channel 5)

Virgin Media Television’s director of programming said: “We’re constantly being told that linear TV is dead, but the facts actually present a different picture.”

In Ireland, Virgin Media is “bucking the trend and showing continual growth in audiences”, a result, he claimed, of a “notable step up in [the] scale, ambition and quality” of programming.