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Back to school as Jason Manford joins Waterloo Road cast

The BBC has announced that actor and comic Jason Manford will join the cast of Waterloo Road when it returns for its next series later this year.

Manford will play Steve Savage, who has a big impact on the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road when he becomes headteacher – but not before ruffling a few feathers along the way. While Manford’s new role as headteacher will leave fans questioning how the future looks for current headteacher Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin), viewers will have to wait and see how the storyline plays out.

Waterloo Road’s current series launched in full on BBC iPlayer in early January and concluded its weekly BBC One run last night. Manford will appear in Waterloo Road’s next series, its 14th, coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.

The comic said: “What an absolute treat it is to join the cast and crew of Waterloo Road, right here in my home city of Manchester. My kids and I binged the show on iPlayer during lockdown. It’s such a brilliant, iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher and now becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible.”

Cameron Roach, executive producer of Waterloo Road and founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, added: “Jason is a phenomenal comic actor, and has fully embraced the tone and spirit of the show, we can’t wait for the audience to meet Steve Savage and his son Billy. As with all of our adult cast, Jason has been an inspiring and approachable mentor to our younger cast and crew. We love that a new generation of Northern talent are able to learn their craft alongside brilliant household names. The legacy of Waterloo Road goes from strength to strength.”

Also joining Waterloo Road in the next series is Saira Choudhry (No Offence, Life) as Nisha Chandra, Waterloo Road’s newest maths teacher, alongside a host of new students: Olly Rhodes (The Last Kingdom) as Billy Savage, Nathan Wood as Boz Osbourne, Sonya Nisa (Damsel) as Aleena Qureshi, Miya Ocego (Wreck) as Lois Taylor-Brown, Danny Murphy (The Parts You Lose) as Luca Smith and Matthew Khan (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder) as Jared Jones. Further information about their characters will be revealed in due course.

A host of other student and staff cast will also be returning for the next series, including favourites like Kym Marsh and Maisey Robinson, although the BBC is keeping quiet about whether Griffin will be among them.

Waterloo Road is known for tackling real-life topics affecting teens, families, and school staff with its trademark mix of sharp writing, warmth, and wit. The series returned to screens last year after becoming popular amongst audiences on BBC iPlayer during lockdown, and since its return, has continued to perform as one of the top shows on BBC iPlayer for viewers Under 35.

Waterloo Road is a Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall to Wall North co-production for BBC One and iPlayer. The executive producers are Cameron Roach for Rope Ladder Fiction, Leanne Klein for Wall to Wall and Gaynor Holmes and Jo McClellan for the BBC. Directors include Robin Sheppard, Piotr Szkopiak, John Maidens and Angela Griffin.

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