Waterloo Road (2006–2015)
|Content Rating||TV-14 (TV-14)|
|Awards||Awards6 wins & 12 nominations|
|Company||Shed Productions, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
Waterloo Road (TV series)
Waterloo Road is a British television drama series set in a comprehensive school of the same name, broadcast on BBC One and later on BBC Three. The show is 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 the show in series ten. The first episode was broadcast on BBC One on 9 March 2006 and the final episode on BBC Three on 9 March 2015. Waterloo Road ran for 200 episodes and exactly nine years. In September 2019, the series was made available on BBC iPlayer.
The first series contained eight episodes and was first broadcast from 9 March to 27 April 2006. 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 (Sunday 25 for BBC One Scotland). The final episode aired on 15 July 2010. For the first time, the series was recorded in HD.
Production was meant to move locations in 2009, with storylines in the fourth and fifth series designed to coincide with that move. However, these plans didn't go ahead, so the show remained in Rochdale until Series 8. The filming of the fifth and sixth series was back-to-back, from 2009 to 2010. The sixth series ran from 1 September 2010 to 6 April the next year.
The final series set in Rochdale, Series 7, began airing on 4 May 2011 and ended on 25 April 2012. The series lasted for 30 episodes. Shed Productions, the production company, opted to relocate the show to Greenock in Scotland as it was cheaper than staying at the original location. The Rochdale site was demolished shortly after filming ended in 2011 (this was amusingly referenced in the final episode of the series) and is now a housing estate. As part of a BBC initiative to produce more shows out of England, the show was commissioned for a further fifty episodes (to be aired over two series). For most of the eighth series, the school was an independent school, as opposed to a comprehensive school as it was for the first seven series. The eighth series, again 30 episodes long started on 23 August 2012 and concluded on 4 July 2013. Starting on 5 September the same year, the ninth series ran until 12 March 2014.
It was announced on 2 April 2014 that the 10th series would be the show's last. The final scenes of the show were recorded on 22 August 2014. On 11 December, it was announced that the last ten episodes of the show would air on BBC Three instead of BBC One. However, a repeat on BBC One was shown later in the evening.
The final episode was the show's 200th and aired on 9 March 2015, exactly nine years after the first episode. In the story, the school remains open after a lengthy battle against a school merger.
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. Brett also stars in series 8 and 10, outside of Christine's tenure as Headteacher. 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.
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).
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).
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).
The fourth series introduces several new characters who become focal points of the subsequent episodes. 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. Characters from the previous series who have left the school include Mika, Brett (both of whom left for University having graduated) and Celine.
Series 4 marked the exit of long-term characters Davina, Donte, Chlo and Janeece. Marley, Eddie, Matt, Flick, Jasmine and Andrew also made their final appearances in episode 20.
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.
For series 6, former Silent Witness and Brookside actress Amanda Burton joined the cast as new headteacher, Karen Fisher. 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 and Chelsee Healey also reprised her role as Janeece Bryant, not as a pupil, but as the new school secretary. 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. Also from episode 11, Scott Haining played Nate Gurney, a love interest for the newly homosexual Josh Stevenson, Spandau Ballet member and former EastEnders actor Martin Kemp guest starred as Mr Burley, new character Ronan Burley's (Ben-Ryan Davies) father, and Karen David portrayed new Head of Spanish, Francesca "Cesca" Montoya. 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). It ended on 6 April 2011.
The seventh series added several new cast members, including new Headteacher Michael Byrne (Alec Newman), science teacher and deputy headteacher Sian Diamond (Jaye Jacobs), 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.
Series 8 shows the start of Greenock's Waterloo Road. Laurie Brett and Georgie Glen join the main cast as English teacher Christine Mulgrew and History teacher Audrey McFall respectively.
The tenth and final series 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.
Laura Aikman joined the cast as new deputy headteacher Lorna Hutchinson, as well as Broadchurch star Charlotte Beaumont appearing as new student Kenzie Calhoun. 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).
Series 1 (2006)
The school deals with the threat of closure by the governors owing to falling enrolment and poor pupil behaviour. Pupil Adam Deardon is killed in a car accident in the very first episode, a pupil struggles to care for his mother who has Huntington's Disease, and English teachers, Tom and Lorna Clarkson's marriage ends due to Tom's love for fellow Drama teacher and their best friend, Izzie Redpath. The Local Education Authority (LEA) decides to keep the school open, while Lorna, distraught at the end of her marriage, throws herself into a canal.
Series 2 (2007)
Lorna is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Sponsor governor, Roger Aspinall, brings controversial changes and enrols his son Brett who has an affair with the school secretary, Davina Shackleton. Alcoholism and drug use trouble the school. Mika Grainger is subjected to extreme online bullying. Maxine Barlow conquers her drug addition but her father is revealed to be behind a series of sex attacks on teenage girls. Tom and Izzie are expecting their first child together but Izzie has a miscarriage; Lorna reunites the couple before committing suicide due to her degenerative illness. Izzie is fatally stabbed during a fight between headteacher Jack Rimmer and a drug dealer.
Series 3 (2007–2008)
Jack uses educational funds to entice parents to send their children to the school; forced to resign, he is replaced as headteacher by Rachel Mason, who is blackmailed over her former life as a prostitute. Chlo Grainger and Donte Charles are married and subsequently separate after Chlo sleeps with her sister Mika's boyfriend Brett. A pupil with Asperger syndrome is introduced, English teacher Jasmine Koreshi is accused of assaulting pupil Michaela White, and another pupil is deported. Chlo and Maxine's plagiarism scandal attracts notice from the local exam board. Careless smoking causes a gas explosion at the school.
Series 4 (2009)
New PE teacher Rob Cleaver begins a relationship with Jasmine, which ends when he is fired for giving aspiring boxer, Bolton Smilie, performance-enhancing drugs. "Family from hell", the Kellys, include psychopath Earl who fatally shoots his girlfriend Maxine, leading to his arrest. Former teacher Kim Campbell returns from Rwanda, smuggling a baby girl. Chlo resumes a relationship with Donte and gives birth to his baby daughter. Davina qualifies as a teacher but leaves when Tom begins a relationship with Rose. Ralph Mellor goes mad and knocks the front of the school down with an excavator.
Series 5 (2009–2010)
Waterloo Road is merged with local private school John Fosters, and the lack of unity causes rivalries and clashes. Particularly affected is newly-qualified English teacher Helen Hopewell, who quits after bribing students for their good behaviour during an inspection. She reveals to Rachel that she had an affair with the executive headteacher Max Tyler. Max's desperate attempts to control the school lead to an assault on a pupil and Max's arrest. Unruly pupil Finn Sharkey encourages others to share his affinity for drugs and vandalism. Modern Foreign Languages teacher, Jo Lipsett, is suspended for acting inappropriately towards pupil Ros McCain's declaration of love.
Series 6 (2010–2011)
Pregnant secretary Janeece Bryant proposes that John and Ruby Fry adopt her child, but renegs. Josh Stevenson struggles with his homosexuality. Grantly Budgen struggles with his wife Fleur's Alzheimer's disease and puts her in a nursing home; a mix-up causes him to teach from the wrong syllabus. Christopher Mead begins a relationship with Jess Fisher and is appalled when she is revealed to be new headteacher Karen's daughter. Cesca Montoya is arrested for an illicit relationship with pupil Jonah Kirby, though they marry while she is on bail. Karen introduces separate-sex classrooms, and Adanna Lawal tries to reunite the school with a production of Cinderfella which doesn't go according to plan.
Waterloo Road Reunited
On 19 November 2010, the BBC announced it had commissioned an online spin-off to the main show, Waterloo Road Reunited. The 6-part series, released in tandem with the latter half of series 6, follows the lives of former pupils and features a mixture of online episodes and social media extras.
The online series joins Michaela White, Bolton Smilie, Danielle Harker, Janeece Bryant, Philip Ryan, Aleesha Dillon and Paul Langley after completing their secondary education, following their decisions and actions, and how events of the main program affect their lives, eventually leading to a school reunion. It is the final appearance of these characters, with the exception of Janeece who became Waterloo Road's secretary from Series 6 until Series 8, and Bolton who made a guest reappearance in Series 8.
Series 7 (2011–2012)
A student released from a detention centre enters the school, resulting in an inspection and threats of closure. Headteacher Karen is replaced by Michael Byrne, who has post-traumatic stress disorder from being attacked by a pupil. Sambuca Kelly dies from a brain tumour. Michael begins an affair with Science teacher Sian Diamond. Linda Radleigh tries to kill Michael in a hit-and-run. Pupils join rival criminal gangs. Janeece is betrayed of her life savings by her lover. The LEA decides to close the school and Michael is contacted by Lorraine Donnagan – a businesswoman and former student – who sponsors the school's relocation to Scotland.
Series 8 (2012–2013)
Grantly and Maggie Budgen run the schoolhouse together and later marry. Bullying escalates dangerously before two girls make peace. English teacher Christine Mulgrew struggles with alcoholism, seeking help after her arsonist son Connor injures his girlfriend, Imogen Stewart. The Barry family bring bullying and violence to the school. Lorraine's business fails, and Michael convinces Glasgow Education to take the school under the local authority before leaving. Christine is made acting headteacher while Simon Lowsley is appointed deputy head. Grantly suffers from kidney failure; Maggie pressures Tom to donate a kidney, but he fatally falls from the school roof while trying to help a former student.
Series 9 (2013–2014)
To counter her new deputy – Simon, who is engaged to Sue Spark, daughter of the LEA's head – Christine appoints George Windsor as co-deputy. George proposes Mandarin classes without knowing the language. Sue cannot control her pupils; she and Simon elope. Larry Brown is arrested and his younger siblings, Lisa and Lenny, become wards of the school. Kacey Barry trains as a boxer. A dangerous man impersonates a supply teacher. Privileged troublemaker Gabriella Wark tries to seduce a teacher, sabotages Nikki Boston's relationship and injures Kacey. Kevin Chalk suffers a stroke. Dynasty Barry becomes a police officer and exposes her brother Barry Barry's latest scheme. Christine crashes her car drink driving and resigns.
Series 10 (2014–2015)
Vaughan Fitzgerald takes over as headteacher. A student protest of the mock exams leads to a panic attack. Sue and PE teacher Hector Reid have an affair, and Hector threatens blackmail when Sue breaks it off. Sonya Donnegan shares her novel with the staff but runs into trouble for drawing from Christine's alcoholic past. Police investigate computer hacking and cyber-bullying at the school. Step-siblings Justin Fitzgerald and Tiffany Westbrook begin a relationship which their parents suppress. Staff and students fight to stop a merger between Waterloo Road and rival school Havelock High. George blackmails his councillor girlfriend into stopping the merger.
Transmissions and ratings
|1||8||9 March 2006||27 April 2006||4.6|
|2||12||18 January 2007||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*|
The final episode of series 3 attracted 6 million viewers.
The final episode of series 4 attracted 4.5 million viewers.
The last episode of series 5 aired on 15 July 2010 with an audience of 4.5 million viewers.
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. The series took a mid-term break from 27 October 2010 and resumed with episodes 11–20 beginning on 2 February 2011
- - The second half of series ten was moved to BBC Three.
The final episode aired on 9 March 2015, nine years after the first episode aired on 9 March 2006.
|2006||Best New Drama||Waterloo Road||Won|
|2007||Best Loved Drama||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Jill Halfpenny (Izzie Redpath)||Won|
|2008||Best Loved Drama||Waterloo Road||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Denise Welch (Steph Haydock)||Nominated|
|2009||Best Actor||Neil Morrissey (Eddie Lawson)||Nominated|
|Best Family Drama||Waterloo Road||Won|
|Best Actress||Denise Welch (Steph Haydock)||Won|
|2010||Best Family Drama||Waterloo Road||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Denise Welch (Steph Haydock)||Won|
|2011||Best Family Drama||Waterloo Road||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Amanda Burton (Karen Fisher)||Nominated|
|Most Popular Drama||Waterloo Road||Won|
|2012||Most Popular Female Drama Performance||Jaye Jacobs (Sian Diamond)||Nominated|
|Most Popular Drama Series||Waterloo Road||Nominated|
|2013||Most Popular Drama Series||Won|
|Best Actress||Heather Peace (Nikki Boston)||Won|
|2015||Laura Aikman (Lorna Hutchinson)||Won|
|Best Continuing Drama||Waterloo Road||Won|
|Hong Kong |
|BBC Entertainment||Series 1–3 have been aired in Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and India. Series 4 is currently being aired.|
|Europe||BBC One||Series 1–10 have been aired in the UK. Channel automatically available in the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands.|
|BBC Entertainment||Series 1 has been aired in 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 and Ukraine.|
|CBS Drama||Series 1–7 have been repeated in the UK. Series 4 currently airing.|
|Estonia||ETV (Estonia)||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.|
United Arab Emirates
|BBC Entertainment||Series 1 has aired in the Middle East. Series 2 has aired.|
|Israel||BBC Entertainment, IETV|
|New Zealand||TV ONE||Series 1–3 have aired in New Zealand.|
|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.|
|US||BBC America||Series 1 has been aired in the USA.|
|South Africa||BBC Entertainment|
|Spain||Canal 3XL and TV3||Series 1–9 have been aired only in Catalonia.|
Series one and two were released by 2entertain, whilst series three to eight were released by Acorn DVD. Series nine and ten still have not been released on home media.
|Title||Episodes||DVD release Date||Total Discs||Special features|
|Series 1||8||26 March 2007||3||N/A|
|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|
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
|Series 5||20||14 June 2010 (Autumn Term)|
27 September 2010 (Spring Term)
23 May 2011 (Complete)
Waterloo Road Cribs
|Series 6||20||7 February 2011 (Autumn Term)|
20 June 2011 (Spring Term)
16 January 2012 (Complete)
Social Networking Snaps
|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)
|9||Social Networking Snaps|
|Series 8||30||4 February 2013 (Autumn Term)|
3 June 2013 (Spring Term)
7 October 2013 (Summer Term)
15 September 2014 (Complete)
|9||Behind the Scenes|
In the Gym with Kaya & Kirstie
In the Lab with Jaye and Jason
Home from Home with Grantly Budgen
|6||16 September 2013||2||6 select episodes from series 3 – 8|
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, 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.