A TALENTED young actress from Skipton has won herself a place on television's Channel 4 popular drama series Ackley Bridge.

16 year old Zara Salim has been part of the Stage 84 performing arts school since 2016, attending classes held at Skipton Girls High School alongside many others from the town and surrounding areas.

And, now she will be in the new series of the drama, which is set in an academy school situated in a racially divided Yorkshire Town, Ackley Bridge.

The series explores the ups and downs of friendships, family life and relationships of both the teachers and pupils, and has a diverse cast, strong female roles with wit, close to the knuckle humour and larger than life characters for big hearted storylines.

Zara will play the role of Kacey ‘Spud’ Gartside and is to be introduced mid-way through the current series.

She said: "Ackley Bridge has been one of the most amazing experiences for me. My huge thanks go to Craig at Stage 84 for teaching me throughout the years, which would eventually lead towards me achieving my ambition. I would also like to thank everyone at The Forge and the whole cast and crew of the show for making me feel so welcome on my first ever job. It really is like one big family and I’m so honoured to be a part of it.”

Craig Winward, Stage 84 managing director and Skipton classes teacher, added: “We are tremendously proud of Zara and the way her acting skillset has developed in the time she has attended classes with us. We are delighted she has been cast in this high profile drama, filmed in our area, and that she has had the opportunity to gain valuable experience working alongside a professional cast.”

Filming has taken place in the West Yorkshire area over recent months, with part of Zara’s storyline including her discovering who her dad is – and it is who she might expect.

The first episode of the third, eight part, series went out on June 18. It goes out weekly, on Tuesdays at 8pm.

Key cast members include Jo Joyner as headteacher Mandy Carter and Robert James-Collier who has just joined the series as deputy headteacher, Martin Evershed.

Stage 84, which is celebrating it’s 35th anniversary year, was founded in 1984 by principal, Valerie Jackson MBE, and now has branches in Bradford, Skipton and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

It is running a summer school in Skipton from July 29 to August 2.