Halifax on the small screen again in new Channel 4 drama Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge
Ackley Bridge

Happy Valley. Last Tango in Halifax. The Moorside. Calderdale and Halifax are fast-becoming filming hotspots for the small screen.

And new drama Ackley Bridge is likely to cement the area's place as a 'go to' destination for film and television crews.

Some of the cast at Thursday night's screening of Ackley Bridge

Some of the cast at Thursday night's screening of Ackley Bridge

Shot in Halifax, there'll be plenty of opportunities for location spotting when the Channel 4 8pm drama airs in a couple of weeks.

It tells the story of fictional Yorkshire mill town Ackley Bridge, which is home to largely divided white and Asian populations.

Like the communities, the school systems have also become segregated and the drama sees two formerly isolated comprehensives merged into a brand new academy and all the trials and tribulations among teachers, parents, pupils and support staff which that creates.

The former St Catherine's High School, Holmfield, was transformed into Ackley Bridge College for the series, which was also used for Henry Winkler's (The Fonz) children's television series Hank Zipzer.

A special screening of the drama was shown on Thursday night at the school. It followed a youth panel debate with Halifax parliamentary candidates Holly Lynch, Chris Pearson, James Baker and Mark Weedon, where youngsters from schools across Calderdale grilled those vying for their votes on everything from school funding and the NHS to engaging young people in politics and lowering the voting age.

Youngsters from Halifax and the surrounding areas star in the show’s cast, which also features Jo Joyner (Ordinary Lies, Eastenders, No Angels), as the school’s head teacher, Paul Nicholls (The C Word, Eastenders) as a PE teacher Steve Bell, former Casualty star Sunetra Sarker as dinnerlady Kaneez Paracha with Citizen Khan’s Adil Ray taking on the role of Sadiq Nawaz, a dynamic and successful businessman and the academy’s sponsor.

The six-part series has been created by Ayub Khan Din (East is East), Kevin Erlis and Malcolm Campbell (Shameless).