Waterloo Road returns to BBC One next week with some new faces joining the cast of the popular school-based drama.
The recession is being felt in the new series, local private school John Fosters closed after it collapsed when parents could no longer afford the fees and has been merged with Waterloo Road.
Enter Max Tyler (former Holby City star Tom Chambers) as Max Tyler, a new Executive Head brought in to oversee the merger. He’s going to have his work cut out, the arrival of almost a hundred “posh” pupils is set to cause tensions both in the playground and staff room.
Tyler is meant to be Executive Head of four schools, but as the former Head of John Fosters his attentions aren’t always as ‘hands off’ as they should be, much to the annoyance of Head Rachel Mason.
Chambers says his character “is on a mission to stamp out disobedience and improve academic results. He is passionate and explosive when it comes to the control and discipline that he desires.”
There’s also a new Deputy Head in the shape of Christopher Mead (Will Ash), an ex-city boy turned science teacher, food technology teacher Ruby Fry (Elizabeth Berrington) who is every bit as snobby as her pupils and new Head of Languages, Jo Lipsett (Sarah Jane Potts), whose enthusiasm and competence spells trouble for the hapless Steph.
Returning for the new series are Waterloo Road regulars Eva Pope, Jason Done, Denise Welch, Angela Griffin, Philip Martin Brown, Zarrah Abrahams, Lucy Dixon and Dean Smith.
The BBC has also announced cast changes for the next year’s series of the show, look away now if you want to avoid any spoilers.
Amanda Burton is set to take over Waterloo Road as Head Teacher Karen Fisher and will start filming on location in Rochdale in November before making her first appearance in the drama next year. Burton says she’s “very excited to join Waterloo Road”.
Head of Independent Drama for BBC Scotland, Anne Mensah, says: “Amanda is an actress of exceptional quality and enormous popularity with the audience. We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming her to Waterloo Road. We have a fantastic cast and brilliant new stories to tell as the programme continues to go from strength to strength.”