It's back to the books for Waterloo Road

Waterloo Road (BBC One, 8pm)
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Don’t panic, you haven’t just travelled back in time – Waterloo Road is coming back.

And what’s more, it’s returning to its spiritual home in Greater Manchester. That’s where the drama began in 2006 before switching, bizarrely, to the Scottish town of Greenock.

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That original run began in 2006 and lasted for exactly nine years and 200 episodes – if the revamp does the same, the Beeb will no doubt be thrilled.

It isn’t just the setting that’s back – some of the original cast are also returning. Angela Griffin will reprise her role as Kim Campbell, who is now the headteacher of the titular school, while Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths will play the popular characters Donte and Chlo Charles. When we last saw them, they were teenagers. Now they’re all grown up and raising their own family.

“I feel really honoured to be joining the new series of Waterloo Road,” claims Griffin. “It is exciting to be stepping back into Kim’s shoes and I can’t wait to explore her life, character and how she has evolved since we last met her. The writers have some amazing storylines planned and I’m looking forward to welcoming viewers back.”

Thomas, whose biggest post-Waterloo Road role came as Adam Barton in Emmerdale, adds: “I’m so excited to go back to where it all started! Waterloo Road was a huge part of my life and career so to go back 15 years later is a dream come true. I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity to get back to acting and doing what I love! I can’t wait to see some old faces and some new. I know this series is going to be the best one yet…”

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“Chlo was my first professional acting role, and I feel so lucky to be part of the show again,” says Griffiths. “I can’t wait to see what stories unfold!”

There are some new faces joining the cast too. Anyone who watched her take part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing will have seen Kym Marsh rehearsing with her pro partner, Graziano Di Prima, on the set. She’ll be playing Nicky Walters, the mother of two pupils who works in the school’s canteen.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the fabulous cast of Waterloo Road, it’s such a joy to get the opportunity to film in Manchester again and I can’t wait to get going!” she laughs.

Although the adults have their part to play, it’s the younger cast members who really make the show work – it’s their personal dramas, joys and traumas that really make the show tick. Although the class of 2023 are as yet largely unknowns, there are some potential stars of the future here, including Scarlett Thomas, Adam’s real-life niece whose mother, Coronation Street’s Tina O’Brien, also appeared in Waterloo Road back in the day.

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Executive Producer Cameron Roach says: “We’re incredibly excited about our new cast, and we believe that alongside the return of Kim Campbell we’re creating some new iconic characters for the next generation of Waterloo Road. We look forward to the audience joining them in the staff room.”