ACKLEY Bridge viewers have blasted the latest season of Channel 4’s school drama, claiming that the series has gone “downhill.”
Season 5 of Ackley Bridge premiered on Monday night at 10pm, with a double bill of half-hour episodes. However, despite viewers’ excitement leading up to the new season, they’ve been left less than impressed by season 5, switching off after just a few episodes.
Yasmin Al-Khudhairi, Ryan Dean and Robyn Cara lead the fifth season of Ackley BridgeCredit: Channel 4
“#AckleyBridge has totally lost the plot,” one Channel 4 viewer exclaimed, adding that they had to stop watching only four episodes into the ten-episode season.
“I thought last season was bad but the new season is worse,” another viewer said.
They continued, saying: “This show went downhill ever since the original characters left and they killed off Missy for shock value.”
Nasreen Paracha and Missy Booth were the main characters in Ackley Bridge for the first three seasons of the show. Former Eastenders actor Amy-Leigh Hickman portrayed Nasreen, while In My Skin star Poppy Lee Friar played Missy.
However, neither of the actresses returned to the show after season 3, which saw Missy killed off after she and Nasreen were hit by a car.
Viewers have complained that the series has never been the same since they left.
“Just started watching Ackley Bridge season 5, nothing compares to seasons 1&2&3! What’s happened to this show,” one viewer wrote alongside a broken heart emoji.
Another criticised the fifth season, saying, “Who watches that sh*** #AckleyBridge.”
Several of the show’s other original cast members left at the end of Season 4, including former Eastenders star Jo Joyner. This left Kayla Azfal (Robyn Cora), Johnny Cooper (Ryan Dean) and Fizza Akhtar (Yasmin Al-Khudhairi) to lead the series, along with Ackley Bridge headteacher Martin Evershed, played by Downton Abbey’s Robert James-Collier.
However, there were more casting changes to be made in season 5, with Kayla departing the show just three episodes into the season.
Kayla had been part of a will-they-won’t-they relationship storyline with Johnny, and the pair finally got together in the second episode of season 5. Several viewers were devastated to learn that Kayla was leaving the show so soon after, given how “invested” they were in the on-screen relationship.
One viewer criticised the timing of Kayla’s exit, saying it “feels so rushed.”
They continued, noting that “these sort of storylines where someone moves away usually last the whole series, especially when they’re main characters. Weird.”
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Luckily for any viewers still watching, Johnny and Fizza aren’t going anywhere.
Ackley Bridge continues tonight at 10:15pm on Channel 4, and all episodes are available on All4.
Robyn Cara who portrays Kayla Azfal exits Ackley Bridge in Season 5Credit: Channel 4