Zara Keane Biography & Facts
Ackley Bridge is a British television drama series that follows the lives of the staff and pupils at the fictional multi-cultural academy school Ackley Bridge College. Series one features the debuts of friends Missy Booth (Poppy Lee Friar) and Nasreen Paracha (Amy-Leigh Hickman), headteacher Mandy Carter (Jo Joyner) and her husband Steve Bell (Paul Nicholls), school cook Kaneez Paracha (Sunetra Sarker), English teacher Emma Keane (Liz White) and her daughter Chloe Voyle (Fern Deacon), school sponsor Sadiq Nawaz (Adil Ray) and his children Alya (Maariah Hussain) and Riz (Nohail Mohammed), brothers Jordan (Samuel Bottomley) and Cory Wilson (Sam Retford), school receptionist Lorraine Bird (Lorraine Cheshire), science teacher Lila Shariff (Anneika Rose), head of pastoral care Samir Qureshi (Arsher Ali), PE teacher Will Simpson (Tom Varey), Missy's mother Simone (Samantha Power) and grandmother Julie 'Nana' Booth (Rita May) and students Hayley Booth (Cody Ryan), Razia (Nazmeen Kauser) and Saleem Paracha (Esa Ashraf), Candice Murgatroyd (Emily Pyzer) and Naveed Haider (Gurjeet Singh). Series two sees the introduction of science teacher Rashid Hyatt (Tony Jayawardena), Nasreen's half-brother Aaron Turner (Adam Fielding), deputy headteacher Javid Shah (Jay Saighal) and student Sam Murgatroyd (Megan Parkinson).
Series three features the arrivals of Valley Trust transfer teachers Martin Evershed (Rob James-Collier) and Sue Carp (Charlie Hardwick), temporary headteacher Sian Oakes (Ty Glaser), PE teacher Hassan Hussein (Hareet Deol) and students Pawel Nowicki (Szymon Kantor), Rukhsana Ibrahim (Phoebe Tuffs-Berry), Younis Iqbal (Abdul Ahadbutt) and Kacey 'Spud' Gartside (Zara Salim). The fourth series saw a cast overhaul, with the arrivals of Kayla Azfal (Robyn Cara) and her half-sister Marina Perry (Carla Woodcock), Kayla's best friend Fizza Akhtar (Yasmin Al-Khudhairi), travellers Johnny (Ryan Dean) and Queenie Cooper (Jasmine Payne) and Rose Boswell (Olivia Marie Fearn), Kaneez's nephew Tahir Randhawa (Shobit Piasa) and Rashid's mother Zainab (Leena Dhingra).
Missy Booth (portrayed by Poppy Lee Friar) is the older sister of Hayley (Cody Ryan), and the daughter of Simone (Samantha Power). She is also the lifelong best friend of Nasreen Paracha (Amy-Leigh Hickman). The pair start at Ackley Bridge College, having previously attended different schools. Due to Missy retaking a year, she is placed in the year group below Nasreen. Missy's grandmother Julie (Rita May) worries about her money being stolen. Missy suspects that her motherstole the money, and enlists Nasreen's help to find her. Before going to school, Missy goes upstairs to help Julie get out of the bath, but is distraught to find her dead in the bath. Unsure on what to do, she leaves her body, and goes to school. She later confides in Nasreen, but tells her to keep it a secret, as there is no longer a legal guardian to look after Hayley. Teacher Emma Keane (Liz White) finds out, and reports Julie's death to the social board, who puts Hayley into foster care. With the help of Simone, Missy manages to regain custody of Hayley. Missy begins a relationship with Nasreen's half-brother, Aaron Turner (Adam Fielding). When he surprises her with a firework display, she proposes to him. She later becomes pregnant with his baby and tells Aaron, who is delighted. However, feeling it is too soon to have a child, she has an abortion. Aaron finds out, and angry that Missy did not consult him, he ends the relationship. Missy starts at sixth form with Nasreen, who is planning to go to Oxford University. She accompanies Nasreen to Oxford to attend her interview, and when they return home, Missy confides in Nasreen that she plans to leave school again to join the local fair. Nasreen laughs, and accuses Missy of "throwing her life away" like her mother. The pair make up with each other, and while walking home, they are hit by a speeding car driven by Anwar Wazir (Antonio Aakeel). Missy has two broken arms, but when she goes to bed, she is shocked to see her dead grandmother, who informs her that she has died. Nasreen visits Missy, and is distraught to find her dead body.
In an interview with Channel 4, actress Friar described Missy as a "survivor", and the "glue of her family", however, noted that "she's also got a rebellious side, she can be quite tough and opinionated which can get her into trouble as her emotions can often present themselves in funny ways and bubble over. She can rub people up the wrong way as her mouth can run away from her". Friar also commented: "she's very popular at school, especially with the boys who love her as she's quite saucy and sassy, but they know they could only dream that she would be interested in them. She's very street wise and she's constantly self-sacrificing because she's had to be Mum, Dad and carer all at the same time. She’s had so much responsibility, but she does it out of love as she's very loyal to her friends and family and her best friend Nas. They've grown up together and their families are entwined, there's zero prejudice of culture and colour between them."Friar's performance throughout series one was praised by Daljinder Johal of Desiblitz, who described it as "powerful". Rianne Houghton of Digital Spy praised Friar for her performance during the teenage pregnancy storyline in series two, as well as the portrayal of "supportive female friendships". She also praised the "realistic and balanced portrayal of teen pregnancy and abortion". After Missy's death, Paul Fogarty of HITC stated that "Ackley Bridge will never be the same again", and Filiz Mehmedova of Digital Spy stated that they were not "emotionally ready" for her death. Viewers of the programme expressed their upset and outrage with Missy's death, with Digital Spy noting that viewers complained about the "shocking twist". Becky Freeth of Metro described the scenes as a "gut-wrenching plot twist" that "caught many off-guard", and noted that viewers expected Missy to survive the car accident. Despite the negative reactions to Missy's death, many viewers praised the storyline for the ways in which her death was dealt with by other characters, such as Nasreen's anger and students setting off lanterns for her, the latter of which was described as "one of the most powerful Ackley Bridge scenes of all time".
Nasreen Paracha (portrayed by Amy-Leigh Hickman) is the older sister of Razia (Nazmeen Kauser) and Saleem (Esa Ashraf/Yaseen Khan), and the daughter of Kaneez (Sunetra Sarker) and Iqbal (Narinda Samra). Nasreen comes out to lifelong best friend Missy Booth (Poppy Lee Friar) as a lesbian. She then kisses her teacher, Lila Shariff (Anneika Rose), while on a night out with Missy. After coming out to Kaneez, she engages in a fake arranged marriage with Naveed Haider (Gurjeet Singh), who is also secretly gay. She later meets Sam Murgatroyd (Megan Parkinson), who attends an anti.... Discover the Zara Keane popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Zara Keane books.