Kimberley Walsh joins cast of Ackley Bridge series 2

Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh will join the cast of Ackley Bridge series 2 on Channel 4.

Starring former EastEnders actors Jo Joyner and Paul Nicholls, Ackley Bridge is set in a fictional Yorkshire town with divided white and Asian populations.

Both sides are brought together when two previously isolated comprehensive schools are merged in to a single college.

After proving a ratings hit, a second series was commissioned last year with twice as many episodes.

In the second series, Kimberley Walsh will play Clare Butterworth, the feisty ex-wife of Steve (Paul Nicholls) and mother to their child Zak.

Claire is set to ruffle some feathers when she turns up unannounced at Ackley Bridge. As Steve’s ex-wife, or ‘sly, home-wrecking netball teacher’ as Mandy (Jo Joyner) so delicately puts it, she had an agreement that she would stay away from the school.

However, now that Mandy and Steve have split due to Mandy’s fling with Sadiq (Adil Ray), she sees no reason to stay away when she needs Steve to look after Zak, and she jumps at the chance to get her claws back into Steve… and put Mandy’s nose out of joint at the same time. Will Claire come between Mandy and Steve once again?

Kimberley Walsh said: “It was so much fun appearing as Claire in Ackley Bridge, it’s such a fantastic show with a brilliant cast so it was an honour to be part of it! Claire is quite different to other characters I’ve played in the past.

“She is sassy and strong and comes to blows a few times with Mandy which was really fun to play. It was great fun working with Jo Joyner and Paul Nicholls on this storyline”.

Also joining Series two of Ackley Bridge is Vicky Entwistle, playing Sandra Turner.

The Paracha family are rocked to the core when it is revealed that Iqbal (Narinder Samra) is not working in Pakistan. Crafty Iqbal had concocted the story to hide that he is living a double life, secretly living with Sandra in Bradford with their two children.

Emotions run high when Nasreen (Amy Leigh Hickman) makes the shock discovery and her life as she knows it is torn apart.

Nasreen struggles with how to tell her mum Kaneez (Sunetra Sarker) the news, fearing she will be devastated. However, she is shocked to discover that all is not as it seems and a chain of events are set off which will change the Paracha family’s life forever.

Vicky Entwistle says; “I am thrilled to be joining the very talented cast of Ackley Bridge and look forward to watching how everything unfolds. I had a great time filming with a wonderful bunch of people.”

Series one stars Jo Joyner, Paul Nicholls, Sunetra Sarker, Liz White, Adil Ray, Arsher Ali, Poppy Lee-Friar, Amy Leigh-Hickman, Arsher Ali, return for series two and are joined by Tony Jayawardena.

Series 2 of Ackley Bridge airs this summer on Channel 4.