Actress Jo Joyner has admitted the real reason she's set to wave goodbye to her character and Ackley Bridge. Speaking on Tuesday's Lorraine, the EastEnders star revealed it was "time to move on" and would be leaving the Channel 4 comedy-drama midway through the current fourth series, which began airing this week.
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Jo told the ITV presenter: "I felt similar to how Mandy feels in this series really... It was great to be a part of at the very beginning and to set up, but now that it's up and running and it knows what it is and the kids own it all, it's time to move on."
She added: "We've got some great new young kids… It's always hard to move on. I think loyal fans who have been with us for three years might be like, 'Oh, who are these people? Who's coming in now?' but that's the nature of a school drama. The kids grow up, they leave, and we get a whole flux of new brilliant people on board."
Jo Joyner is leaving Ackley Bridge during series four
Jo has been a part of the show since the beginning, taking on the role of headteacher Mandy Carter. Ackley Bridge tells the story of a multi-cultural college of the same name and all the goings-on that occur both between the students and the teachers.
Some of the stars that fans will recognise from previous episodes include Sunetra Sarker, Robert James Collier, Jo Joyner, Charlie Hardwick, Phoebe Tuffs-Berry, Cody Ryan, Nazmeen Kauser and Zara Salim.
MORE: Meet the cast of Ackley Bridge series four
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Are you watching the new series?
While viewers are loving episode one, many were missing some of the former stars of the show. One person wrote on Twitter: "It won't be the same without the old cast but I'll give it a try... they have big shoes to fill #AckleyBridge."
A second wrote: "There's a new season of #AckleyBridge but the cast isn't the same!", while a third said: "#AckleyBridge isn't the same without the old cast what is this."
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