It was announced last year that Waterloo Road – the school-set drama which ran for 200 episodes from 2006 to 2015 – would be returning to BBC One.
More recently, we’ve also learned that several of the original cast will be returning as well. Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths will all star in the new Waterloo Road revival.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new series of Waterloo Road.
Who will play the teachers and parents?
Angela Griffin, who played Kim Campbell in the first five series of Waterloo Road, will be returning as the new headteacher of Waterloo Road.
Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths will also be returning as Donte and Chlo Charles. Thomas and Griffiths both left at the end of the fourth series. It’s not yet been revealed in what capacity Thomas and Griffiths will appear in the revival, though they’ll presumably either be teachers or parents (if they’re series regulars at all, that is).
Currently there’s no word on whether any of the rest of the original cast will appear, though you can more or less guarantee that at least one of them will show up at some point.
Some new cast members, and the characters they’re playing, have been announced recently. Kym Marsh (Coronation Street) will play school dinner lady Nicky Walters, who is also the mother of two Waterloo Road students. Sonia Ibrahim and Rachel Leskovac, both also stars of Coronation Street, will play Jamilah Omar, the school’s social worker and Coral Walker, the head of English.
Jo Coffey (Eastenders) will play Wendy Whitwell, headteacher Kim Campbell’s personal assistant, and Vincent Jerome (Wonder Woman 1984) and James Baxter (Still Open All Hours) have been cast as deputy heads Lindon King and Joe Casey.
Shauna Shim (The Worst Witch) will play music teacher Valerie Chambers, while Neil Fitzmaurice (Peep Show) will play history teacher Neil Guthrie, and Katherine Pearce (Rules of the Game) new teacher Amy Spratt.
Who will play the students?
The BBC have revealed some details about who will appear in Waterloo Road as the ‘class of 2022’.
The cast also includes Adam Ali (Little America) as Kai Sharif, Alicia Forde as Kelly-Jo Rafferty, Francesco Piacentini-Smith (Masters Of The Air) as Dean Weever, Liam Scholes (Coronation Street) as Noel McManus, and Lucy Eleanor Begg as Caz Williams.
Fellow student cast includes Summer Violet Bird playing Tonya Walters, Ava Flannery as Verity King, Thapelo Ray (Doctors) as Dwanye Jackson, Inathi Rozani (Biff and Chip) as Zayne Jackson, and Chiamaka Ulebor as Shola Aku.
Two notable cast members include Sahil Ismailkhil as Norrulah Ashimi, and Scarlett Thomas as Izzie Charles (daughter of fan favourites Donte and Chlo Charles). Ismailkhil was cast by a talent scout who visited schools in Leeds, while Thomas is related to former Waterloo Road cast members Adam Thomas and Tina O’Brien.
Where will it be set?
Famously, Waterloo Road was set in Rochdale for its first 7 seasons, before the school moved to Scotland (somehow with most of the staff and pupils coming along with them).
The new series will once again be set in Greater Manchester. How they’ll address the school moving to Scotland and then back again remains to be seen.
Why is Waterloo Road coming back?
There’s a couple of reasons for that. Part of it is because of the BBC’s obligation to make drama that reflects (and is produced in) all areas of the UK – with two hospital dramas set and made in the South of the UK, new Director General Tim Davie emphasised a need to make more drama in the North of the UK.
As a result, Holby City has been cancelled – its last episode aired in March – and Waterloo Road has been brought back. The new series of Waterloo Road will be made in Manchester, which is where the show began (before moving to Scotland for the last couple of series).
The reason why Waterloo Road in particular has come back, rather than a different new or returning drama, is because it was hugely popular during lockdown. Waterloo Road was the sixth most streamed show on iPlayer during 2021, with 45.3 million views – putting it ahead of Doctor Who, Death in Paradise, The Serpent, and Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
When will the new series of Waterloo Road start?
We don’t quite know that yet – we do know, however, that filming has already begun, and that they’re making thirty episodes as part of the new series of Waterloo Road.
An image of the cast together on set during rehearsals has been released. Waterloo Road began filming on 21 February in Greater Manchester and is set to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Waterloo Road will return in “early 2023” it has been confirmed. A post from the show’s official Instagram page confirmed the release window.