Ackley Bridge spoilers: Adil Ray on Sadiq Nawazs future and the importance of diversity

Ackley Bridge spoilers: Adil Ray on Sadiq's future and the importance of diversity
Adil Ray. (Picture: Press Association)

Sadiq Nawazs world fell apart in Ackley Bridge this week, as the businessman lost his factory and found himself on the verge of bankruptcy. Sadiq and his family lead a privileged life but the school itself was at risk because of Sadiqs financial problems. caught up with Adil Ray, who plays Sadiq, to find out what the characters future looks like.

Sadiq is the head of a prominent, middle class family. Hes been very successful up until now. How does he cope with losing everything?

I dont think Sadiqs middle class. I see him as a working class boy whos worked hard and done well. He can be quite a self absorbed, arrogant character. Hes very success driven. But at the end of the day he could have invested in a local football club or a hotel. So yes, hes quite manipulative but theres also a well meaning side to him.

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For anybody to lose their job, its really distressing. Its time for him to take stock. Hes depending on the people around him, like his wife Farida, who really supports him.

And Mandy too has shown that support. It makes him realise whats important. And going on well see how he works out how to do whats best, for him and for the school.

Sami dies in Ackley bridge twist
The Ackley Bridge cast. (Picture: Channel 4)

Sadiq and his daughter havent had the best relationship recently but she grew up idolising him. How does the financial loss affect her?

He actually uses his downfall to try and help Alya. Shes got into a situation at school and shes gone totally overboard, really, really mean. And he uses his own situation to help her, so thats quite a positive thing to do.

And thats what I like about Ackley, theres a real lightness of touch, there are the serious storylines. And then theres a message, underneath, about what the right thing to do is.

Mandy and Sadiq had an affair in Series 1, which came to a bad end. Is there something between them, still?

No, no. I dont think theres anything between Mandy and Sadiq anymore. I mean, what did happen, of course, will always be there. But for them the school matters more. If they werent at the school then maybe they would have carried on. But never say never.

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Youve talked before about the importance of diversity when making Citizen Khan. Does that alter the way you play Sadiq?

Diversity is important, him being British Pakistani is important. I try my best, as an actor, to connect with Asian audiences

The great thing about Citizen Khan was that it was a mainstream show but it really connected with Asian audiences. And some of them hated it, which was good too. At least those audiences were engaged. Actually, I think with Citizen Khan, it sometimes hit a little close to home.

I spent some time living in Yorkshire and Leeds, I know the area. And I know that there are a lot of British Asians in the area who are very proud Yorkshiremen. Theyve got strong accents, they were integrated into the local community. They were cab drivers or they worked in retail. So as an actor I had that in the back of my mind [with Sadiq]. Hes British Pakistani, of course. But hes a Halifax boy.

And finally, are there any updates on the Citizen Khan film?

Yeah, were getting closer and closer each day. I met a great writer who has worked predominantly on Hollywood films, a well known writer. So fingers crossed, well announce something soon. And thatll be interesting for me as well, after years of sitcom work, to work with a film writer.

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