Waterloo Road set to make surprise return as BBC renew the drama SIX YEARS after it was axed
Waterloo Road is set to make a comeback six years after it was axed by the BBC.
The secondary school-set show first aired in 2006 and won legions of fans by tackling numerous tough issues over its 200-episode run and now its coming back and will tackle the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on school kids.
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: ‘Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-COVID Britain, from the perspective of those who have arguably been affected most young people in education.’
Comeback: Waterloo Road is set to make a comeback six years after it was axed by the BBC (L-R Brogan Ellis as Kacey Barry, Carl Au as Barry Barry, Zoe Lucker as Carol Barry and Abby Mavers in 2012)
The gritty show – which was written by the creators of ITV prison drama Bad Girls – was originally set in Rochdale but later series saw a relocation to Greenock, Scotland.
It has been confirmed that the new episodes will be set once again in Greater Manchester.
Executive producer Cameron Roach said: ‘Waterloo Road will continue its reputation for kickstarting, supporting and enabling careers both in front of and behind the camera, in a truly inclusive way, from our base in Greater Manchester.’
The first run of the series featured a slew of familiar faces, such as Loose Women panellist Denise Welch as hapless French teacher Steph Haydock and Hollyoaks actress Chelsee Healey, 33, as ditsy but lovable pupil-turned-secretary Janeece Bryant.
Drama: The secondary school-set show first aired in 2006 and won legions of fans by tackling numerous tough issues over its 200-episode run
Former Coronation Street actress Angela Griffin, 45, played pastoral care teacher Kim Campbell who smuggled a Rwandan baby into the country.
It launched the careers of The Capture star Holliday Grainger, 33, and Jenna Coleman, who went on to win awards for her role as companion Clara Oswald in Doctor Who and as Queen Victoria in Victoria.
The series – of which all ten series were released on BBC iPlayer prior to lockdown – tackled issues such as teenage pregnancy, alcohol, and drug addiction, and cancer.
Sensational storylines saw headteacher Rachel Mason (Eva Pope) being exposed as a former prostitute, an explosion rip through the canteen, and pupil Maxine Barlow being shot to death by boyfriend Earl Kelly.
Wegner added: ‘We are thrilled to be returning to this brilliant format – its thrills and spills, unmissable characters and high drama – at a time when audiences across Britain need it most, and to be collaborating with the brilliant Cameron Roach and Wall To Wall on its return.’
Return: Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: ‘Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-COVID Britain’
The programme ended in 2014 with BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore saying at the time it was ‘important to make room for new dramas’.
The news was announced by BBC1’s Twitter account, which wrote: ‘Series 10 of #WaterlooRoad will be the final series. We’re incredibly proud of the show but believe it has reached the end of its lifecycle. (sic)’.
Ms Moore said the BBC was ‘incredibly proud’ of the show but went on: ‘We believe it has reached the end of its life cycle and won’t be returning after series 10 finishes in 2015.
‘On BBC1 it’s important to make room for new drama and we are committed to commissioning new drama series for 8pm. There are some really exciting ideas currently in development but nothing to confirm yet.’
The final episode of the show aired on March 9 2015.
Axe: The programme ended in 2014 with BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore saying at the time it was ‘important to make room for new dramas’