Waterloo Road (TV series)

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Waterloo Road
Waterloo Road Logo.jpg
Logo from Series 11
GenreSchool drama
Created byAnn McManus
Maureen Chadwick
StarringFull cast
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series10
No. of episodes200 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • John Yorke (series 1)
  • Anne Mensah (series 1–3)
  • Kathryn Mitchell (series 1)
  • Brian Park (series 1–4, 9–10)
  • Ann Harrison-Baxter (series 2)
  • Spencer Campbell (series 3–4)
  • Gaynor Holmes (series 4–8, 10–present)[1]
  • Ann McManus (series 4–6)
  • Sharon Hughff (series 5–7)
  • Sarah Brandist (series 6–7)
  • Lis Steele (series 6)
  • Claire Ingham (series 7)
  • Cameron Roach (series 7–8, 11)[1]
  • Claire Mundell (series 9)
  • Johann Knobel (series 10)
  • John Griffin (series 10)
  • Jo McClellan (series 11)[1]
Production locationsGreater Manchester, England (series 1–7, 11)
Greenock, Scotland (series 8–10)
Running time58–87 minutes
Production companiesShed Productions (series 1–10)
BBC Scotland (series 8–10)[2]
Wall to Wall (series 11)
Rope Ladder Fiction (series 11)[1]
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Productions UK
Release
Original networkBBC One (2006–2014, 2023–present)
BBC Three (2015)
Picture formatDVB-T 576i 16:9 (2006–2009)
HDTV 1080i (2009–2015)
Original release9 March 2006 (2006-03-09) –
present

Waterloo Road is a British television drama series set in a comprehensive school of the same name, first broadcast on BBC One. The show was filmed and set in the English town of Rochdale from series one until the end of series seven, and the Scottish town of Greenock from the beginning of series eight until the end of its original run. The first episode was broadcast on BBC One on 9 March 2006,[3] and the final episode of the original run was broadcast on BBC Three on 9 March 2015.[4]

Waterloo Road ran for 200 episodes and exactly nine years. In September 2021, the show was recommissioned for an eleventh series, with production returning to the Greater Manchester area.[5][1][6]

Production[edit]

The original setting for the series was the former Hill Top Community Primary School in Kirkholt, Rochdale

The first series contained eight episodes and was first broadcast from 9 March to 27 April 2006 on BBC One.[7] Subsequently, the show was renewed for a second series that was 12 episodes long. This series began on 18 January 2007 and finished on 26 April of the same year. Series 3 was commissioned, consisting of twenty episodes (which would become the normal length of the show's series), and premiered on 11 October 2007 and ending on 13 March 2008. Starting on 7 January 2009, the 4th series consisted of 20 episodes and ended on 20 May. Filming of the 5th series began on 11 May 2009 and began airing on Wednesday 28 October (the previous Sunday for BBC One Scotland). The final episode aired on 15 July 2010. For the first time, the series was recorded in HD.[8]

Production was meant to move locations in 2009, with storylines in the fourth and fifth series designed to coincide with that move.[9] However, these plans did not go ahead, so the show remained in Rochdale until Series 7. The filming of the fifth and sixth series was back-to-back, from 2009 to 2010.[10] The sixth series ran from 1 September 2010 to 6 April 2011.[11][12]

From Series 8 to 10 the setting was the former Greenock Academy, on Madeira Street, Greenock.

The seventh series began airing on 4 May 2011 and ended on 25 April 2012.[13] The series lasted for 30 episodes. As part of a BBC initiative to produce more shows out of England,[14] in August 2011 the show was commissioned for fifty episodes, comprising the eighth and ninth series, in a new location in Greenock, Scotland.[15] The Rochdale site was demolished shortly after filming ended in 2011 and is now a housing estate.[16][17] For most of the eighth series, the school was a non-fee charging independent school, as opposed to a comprehensive school as it was for the first seven series.[18] The eighth series, again 30 episodes long, started on 23 August 2012 and concluded on 4 July 2013.[19][20] Starting on 5 September the same year, the ninth series ran until 12 March 2014.[21][22]

It was announced on 2 April 2014 that the 10th series would be the show's last.[23][24][non-primary source needed] The final scenes of the show were recorded on 22 August 2014.[25] On 11 December, it was announced that the last ten episodes of the show would be aired first on BBC Three, with a repeat on BBC One shown later in the evening.[26] The final episode was the show's 200th and aired on 9 March 2015, exactly nine years after the first episode.[27] In the story, the school remains open after a lengthy battle against a school merger.[28] In September 2019, the entire series was made available on BBC iPlayer.[29]

On 23 September 2021, it was announced that Waterloo Road would return with a new series on BBC One.[5][1][6] The series' production returned to the Greater Manchester area, serving as an out-of-London replacement for Holby City, with at least thirty episodes a year expected to air.[30] Filming commenced in February 2022.[31] The revived series included one episode scripted by Lisa Holdsworth.[32] On 15 October 2022, the BBC revealed a new logo and revamped version of the theme on their social media channels. It was also announced that the new series would air in the beginning of early 2023.[33] In November 2022, it was confirmed that seven episodes will initially be shown from January 2023.[34]

Cast[edit]

The show utilises an ensemble cast, led by the school's staff members. Six Headteachers were featured over the series' run, beginning with Jason Merrells as Jack Rimmer. After leaving early in the third series, Merrells was followed by Eva Pope as Rachel Mason until series 5, Amanda Burton as Karen Fisher in series 6 and the first part of series 7, Alec Newman as Michael Byrne in series 7 and 8, Laurie Brett as Christine Mulgrew in series 9 and Neil Pearson as Vaughan Fitzgerald in series 10.[35] Brett also stars in series 8 and 10, outside of Christine's tenure as Headteacher.[36] The longest-running cast members were Philip Martin Brown (Grantly Budgen), Jason Done (Tom Clarkson) and Chelsee Healey (Janeece Bryant), who appeared from series 1 until their exits in series 9 for Brown and 8 for Done and Healey, respectively. Healey was not in Series 5, however.[37]

The original teaching characters consisted of Headteacher Jack Rimmer (Jason Merrells); Deputy Headteacher Andrew Treneman (Jamie Glover); Art teacher and Head of Pastoral Care Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin); Head of English Grantly Budgen (Philip Martin Brown); English teachers Lorna Dickey (Camilla Power) and Tom Clarkson (Jason Done); Head of French Steph Haydock (Denise Welch); and Head of Drama Izzie Redpath (Jill Halfpenny). The student characters included Donte Charles (Adam Thomas), Chlo Grainger (Katie Griffiths), Janeece Bryant (Chelsee Healey), Yasmin Deardon (Rhea Bailey), Mika Grainger (Lauren Drummond) and Lewis Seddon (Craig Fitzpatrick).[38][39]

Series 2 featured a number of new main characters: pupil Brett Aspinall (Tom Payne), his father and sponsor governor Roger Aspinall (Nick Sidi) and school secretary Davina Shackleton (Christine Tremarco).[40][41]

Series 3 introduced several new characters, including new deputy head Eddie Lawson (Neil Morrissey) and, in the seventh episode, new headteacher Rachel Mason (Eva Pope). Other staff arrivals include NQT English teacher Jasmine Koreshi (Shabana Bakhsh) and Head of Music and Drama Matt Wilding (Chris Geere). Pupils introduced in the third series include Aleesha Dillon (Lauren Thomas), Danielle Harker (Lucy Dixon), Karla Bentham (Jessica Baglow), Paul Langley (Thomas Milner), Bolton Smilie (Tachia Newall) and Michaela White (Zaraah Abrahams).[42][43]

The fourth series introduces several new characters who become focal points of the subsequent episodes.[44] For example, the Kelly family seems to be the epitome of the "Family from Hell" and consists of an alcoholic mother Rose Kelly (Elaine Symons) and her five children: eldest son Marley (Luke Bailey), borderline psychopath Earl (Reece Noi), daughter Sambuca (Holly Kenny), 11-year-old Denzil (Reece Douglas), and baby Prince. New Head of PE Rob Cleaver (Elyes Gabel) begins a relationship with English teacher Jasmine and becomes the boxing mentor of pupil Bolton. He is later sacked by Rachel and Eddie when it transpires he is giving Bolton pills to help him win an important match, ultimately ending his and Jasmine's relationship. Rachel's sister Melissa Ryan (Katy Carmichael) and nephew Phillip (Dean Smith) are also introduced. Series 4 marked the exit of long-term characters Davina, Chlo, Donte and Janeece.[37] Marley, Eddie, Matt, Flick, Jasmine and Andrew also made their final appearances in episode 20.[citation needed]

Long-serving characters Steph Haydock (Denise Welch), Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin), Rachel Mason (Eva Pope), Paul Langley (Thomas Milner), Karla Bentham (Jessica Baglow), Danielle Harker (Lucy Dixon), Aleesha Dillon (Lauren Thomas), Bolton Smilie (Tachia Newall) and Michaela White (Zaraah Abrahams), as well as Phillip Ryan (Dean Smith), Siobhan Mailey (Phoebe Dynevor) and Jo Lipsett (Sarah-Jane Potts) left at the end of Series 5.[45][46][citation needed]

For series 6, former Silent Witness and Brookside actress Amanda Burton joined the cast as new headteacher, Karen Fisher.[47] Linzey Cocker played alongside Burton as on-screen daughter, Jess Fisher and Ceallach Spellman played her on-screen son, Harry Fisher, Coronation Street actor Lucien Laviscount was cast as rebellious teenager Jonah Kirby[48][49][50] and Chelsee Healey also reprised her role as Janeece Bryant, not as a pupil, but as the new school secretary.[51][52] On 21 December 2009, it was announced that former Coronation Street actress Tina O'Brien had been cast as Bex Fisher, and that Britain's Got Talent winner George Sampson would be joining the cast as a new Year 11 student, Kyle Stack – his scenes aired from episode 11.[53] Also from episode 11, Scott Haining played Nate Gurney, a love interest for the newly homosexual Josh Stevenson,[54] Spandau Ballet member and former EastEnders actor Martin Kemp guest starred as Mr Burley, new character Ronan Burley's (Ben-Ryan Davies)[55] father,[56] and Karen David portrayed new Head of Spanish, Francesca "Cesca" Montoya.[57] Wil Johnson portrayed new Geography teacher, Marcus Kirby, Jonah's father, and the family was further expanded by the addition of Anna Jobarteh, who played his daughter and new pupil, Ruth. Elaine Symons also reprised her role as Rose Kelly in Episode 6. Series 6 saw the last appearances of Cesca Montoya (Karen David), Ruby Fry (Elizabeth Berrington), Jonah Kirby (Lucien Laviscount), Ruth Kirby (Anna Jobarteh), Marcus Kirby (Wil Johnson), Adanna Lawal (Sharlene Whyte) and Nate Gurney (Scott Haining).[citation needed] It ended on 6 April 2011.[58]

The seventh series added several new cast members, including new Headteacher Michael Byrne (Alec Newman), science teacher and deputy headteacher Sian Diamond (Jaye Jacobs),[59] school site manager Rob Scotcher (Robson Green), maths teacher Daniel Chalk (Mark Benton), new Head of English Linda Radleigh (Sarah Hadland), school benefactor Lorraine Donnagan (Daniela Denby-Ashe) and pupil Jodie "Scout" Allen (Katie McGlynn). Guest stars in the seventh series included: Gemma Atkinson, Dominique Jackson, Alicya Eyo, Margi Clarke, Jodie Prenger, Lisa Riley, Tupele Dorgu, Tracy Ann Oberman, Kai Owen and Jane Asher.[60][61][citation needed]

Series 8 marks the start of Waterloo Road in Greenock. Laurie Brett and Georgie Glen join the main cast as English teacher Christine Mulgrew and History teacher Audrey McFall respectively.[19][36] The tenth and final series[23] began in October 2014, with Neil Pearson's Vaughan Fitzgerald taking over as the new headmaster of Waterloo Road. An extensive set of new characters joined him, including his new partner, Art teacher Allie Westbrook (Nicola Stephenson), his two children and her two children. Pooky Quesnel joined the cast recurringly in the first half of the season as Vaughan's ex-wife.[62]

Laura Aikman joined the cast as new deputy headteacher Lorna Hutchinson, as well as Broadchurch star Charlotte Beaumont appearing as new student Kenzie Calhoun.[63] Quesnel became part of the main cast in the second half of the series. The series 10 characters consisted of Headteacher Vaughan Fitzgerald (Neil Pearson), Deputy Headteacher Lorna Hutchinson (Laura Aikman), Head of English Christine Mulgrew (Laurie Brett), Head of Modern Languages George Windsor (Angus Deayton), Home Economics Teacher and Housemistress Maggie Budgen (Melanie Hill); History Teacher Audrey McFall (Georgie Glen), GPD Teacher Guy Braxton (Regé-Jean Page), Science Teacher Marco D'Olivera (Stefano Braschi), Geography Teacher Olga Fitzgerald (Pooky Quesnel) and School Secretary Sonya Donnegan (Victoria Bush). An extensive set of pupils were prominent in the final series, including Rhiannon Salt (Rebecca Craven), Lenny Brown (Joe Slater), Lisa Brown (Caitlin Gillespie), Darren Hughes (Mark Beswick), Shaznay Montrose (Je'Taime Morgan Hanleyand), Justin Fitzgerald (Max Bowden), Leo Fitzgerald (Zebb Dempster), Kenzie Calhoun (Charlotte Beaumont), Scott Fairchild (Andrew Still), Carrie Norton (Tahirah Sharif), Bonnie Kincaid (Holly Jack), Dale Jackson (Finlay MacMillan) and Abdul Bukhari (Armin Karima).[citation needed]

On 24 January 2022, the BBC revealed that former cast members Adam Thomas, Katie Griffiths and Angela Griffin would reprise their roles in the forthcoming series as Donte Charles, Chlo Charles and Kim Campbell respectively, with Campbell now as Waterloo Road's Headteacher.[31] In early February that same year the actors cast as the teaching and support staff were revealed, including Kym Marsh.[64] Finally on 21 February 2022 the actors selected to play the pupils were introduced to the public, most notably Scarlett Thomas, daughter of former Waterloo Road actor Tina O’Brien and niece of Adam Thomas, who has been cast as his on-screen daughter Izzy Charles.[65]

Transmissions and ratings[edit]

Series Episodes Premiere Finale Average viewers
(millions)
1 8 9 March 2006 27 April 2006 4.6
2 12 18 January 2007[a] 26 April 2007 4.3
3 20 11 October 2007 13 March 2008 5.0
4 20 7 January 2009 20 May 2009 4.7
5 20 28 October 2009 15 July 2010 4.8
6 20 1 September 2010 6 April 2011 4.9
WRR 6 2 March 2011 6 April 2011 N/A
7 30 4 May 2011 25 April 2012 5.1
8 30 23 August 2012 4 July 2013 4.4
9 20 5 September 2013 12 March 2014 4.1
10 20 15 October 2014 9 March 2015 3.6[b]
11 7 January 2023 2023 TBA
  1. ^ Series 2 began airing on BBC One Scotland on 14 January 2007 and in the rest of the UK on 18 January 2007.[66][relevant?]
  2. ^ The second half of series ten was moved to BBC Three.

The final episode of series 3 attracted 6 million viewers.[67] The final episode of series 4 attracted 4.5 million viewers.[68]

The last episode of series 5 aired on 15 July 2010 with an audience of 4.5 million viewers.[69]

Series six started airing on BBC One from 1 September, with the second episode following the next day with a strong audience of 5.1m.[70] The series took a mid-term break from 27 October 2010 and resumed with episodes 11–20 beginning on 2 February 2011[71]

The finale of series 10 aired on 9 March 2015, nine years after the first episode aired on 9 March 2006.[72]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2006 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best New Drama[73][74][75] Waterloo Road Won
2007 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Loved Drama[76] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[77][78] Jill Halfpenny (Izzie Redpath) Won
2008 Digital Spy Soap Awards Best Serial Drama[79] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Loved Drama[80] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[81][better source needed] Denise Welch (Steph Haydock) Nominated
2009 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actor[82] Neil Morrissey (Eddie Lawson) Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Family Drama[83][84][85] Waterloo Road Won
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[86][83][84] Denise Welch (Steph Haydock) Won
2010 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Family Drama[87] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[88] Denise Welch (Steph Haydock) Won
Royal Television Society North West Awards Best Script Writer[89] Ann McManus Won
Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[90] Waterloo Road Won
2011 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Family Drama[91] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[91] Amanda Burton (Karen Fisher) Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[92] Waterloo Road Won
16th National Television Awards Most Popular Drama[93][94] Waterloo Road Won
British Academy Television Awards Continuing Drama[95][96] Waterloo Road Nominated
Broadcast Awards Best Soap or Continuing Drama[97] Waterloo Road Nominated
2012 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[98] Jaye Jacobs (Sian Diamond) Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Family Drama[98] Waterloo Road Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[99] Waterloo Road Won
17th National Television Awards Most Popular Female Drama Performance[100] Jaye Jacobs (Sian Diamond) Nominated
17th National Television Awards Most Popular Drama Series[100] Waterloo Road Nominated
2013 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series[101] Waterloo Road Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[102] Waterloo Road Won
2014 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Drama Series[103] Waterloo Road Nominated
TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Actress[103] Laurie Brett (Christine Mulgrew) Nominated
British Academy Scotland Awards Best Actress – Television[104][96] Laurie Brett (Christine Mulgrew) Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[105] Waterloo Road Won
2015 Inside Soap Awards Best Drama[106] Waterloo Road Nominated

International broadcasts[edit]

Country Network(s) Notes
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
BBC Entertainment Series 1–3 have been aired in Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and India. Series 4 has aired.[when?] .[107]
Europe
    • Armenia
    • Austria
    • Azores
    • Belarus
    • Belgium
    • Bosnia
    • Bulgaria
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • France
    • Germany
    • Georgia
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Italy
    • Kazakhstan
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Macedonia
    • Malta
    • Monaco
    • Netherlands
    • Portugal
    • Moldova
    • Romania
    • Serbia
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Turkey
    • Ukraine
BBC Entertainment Series 1 has been aired in a number of European countries.[108]
Estonia ETV Series 1–7 have aired under the name Waterloo Roadi kool (The School of Waterloo Road).
Finland YLE TV1 Series 1–4 have aired under the name Waterloo Roadin koulu (The School of Waterloo Road).
Slovenia Kanal A Series 1 has aired in Slovenia.[108]
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen
BBC Entertainment Series 1 has aired in the Middle East. Series 2 has aired.[108]
Israel BBC Entertainment, IETV
New Zealand TV ONE Series 1–3 have aired in New Zealand.[109]
Australia ABC Series 1–10 have aired in Australia.
Russia BBC Prime Series 1 has aired in Russia on Networks Russia GMT+2, Russia GMT+3 and Russia GMT+4.[108]
US BBC America Series 1 has been aired in the USA.[110]
South Africa BBC Entertainment
Spain Canal 3XL and TV3 Series 1–9 have been aired only in Catalonia.[111]

DVD releases[edit]

Series one and two were released by 2entertain, while series three to eight were released by Acorn DVD. Series nine and ten were not been released on home media.

Title Episodes DVD release date Total discs Special features
Series 1 8 26 March 2007 3
Series 2 12 10 March 2008 4 Miss Haydock Reveals All
Mika's Video Diary
Series 3 20 2 March 2009 (Autumn Term)
11 May 2009 (Spring Term)
24 May 2010 (Complete)
6 Autumn Term scrap Book
Pupil Reports
Teacher Evaluation
Spring Term scrap Book
Series 4 20 21 September 2009 (Autumn Term)
26 April 2010 (Spring Term)
18 October 2010 (Complete)
6 Autumn Term scrapbook
Spring Term scrapbook
School Photos
Series 5 20 14 June 2010 (Autumn Term)
27 September 2010 (Spring Term)
23 May 2011 (Complete)
6 Deleted Scenes
Bloopers
Cast/Crew Interviews
Waterloo Road Cribs
Series 6 20 7 February 2011 (Autumn Term)
20 June 2011 (Spring Term)
16 January 2012 (Complete)
6 Staff/Student Photos
Outtakes
Social Networking Snaps
Bloopers
Waterloo Road
Reunited
6 9 April 2012 1 Picture Gallery
Series 7 30 7 October 2011 (Autumn Term)
26 March 2012 (Spring Term)
10 September 2012 (Summer Term)
8 April 2013 (Complete)[112]
9 Social Networking Snaps
Series 8 30 4 February 2013 (Autumn Term)[113]
3 June 2013 (Spring Term)[114]
7 October 2013 (Summer Term)[115]
15 September 2014 (Complete)[116]
9 Behind the Scenes
In the Gym with Kaya & Kirstie
In the Lab with Jaye and Jason
Home from Home with Grantly Budgen
The Legends Of
Waterloo Road
6 16 September 2013[117] 2 6 select episodes from series 3 – 8

Online[edit]

Full episodes (series 1 episode 1 to series 8 episode 30) were previously available to watch on YouTube but have now been replaced by highlights of Waterloo Road. All episodes were made available on BBC iPlayer on 19 September 2019,[118] categorized under Drama & Soaps. This was announced on the official Waterloo Road and BBC iPlayer social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter, on 19 September 2019.

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