Waterloo Road’s new head Laurie Brett talks exclusively to What’s on TV about what’s in store for Christine as term starts on BBC1 this Thursday…

English teacher Christine Mulgrew is new acting principal of Waterloo Road. How does her first day on the job go?
“Christine loves what she does, but she’s had this role thrust upon her so she’s not at her most confident. That said, the potential for her to be a very good head is there, as she’s dedicated to the school and a more than capable teacher – when sober!”

Does anything in particular threaten her position?
“The spanner in the works is Simon Lowsley, who has been appointed as Deputy Head by the Local Authority (LA). Christine suspects he’s a spy for the LA, but little does she know there’s more to it. Simon (Richard Mylan) completely puts Christine on the back foot so, rather than moving ahead confidently as Head of Waterloo Road, she’s constantly getting her eye taken off the ball by this man who may be out to get her.”

With her position under threat, the school budget slashed and everyone at school unhappy, will her new-found sobriety be threatened?
“Christine’s past is another reason why she isn’t on firm ground. She’s very much in recovery from her alcoholism, so she has a lot to prove. A lot of Christine’s demons were exorcised last series when we really found out why she was the way she was. But the thing about her is she doesn’t need to be drunk to go off on one!”

So she still has the potential to be unpredictable?
“Christine has a burning fire in her; she’s like a firecracker that could go off. As for any addict there’s always a threat of falling off the wagon, and that threat is always going to be there for Christine – especially when she’s under pressure!”

Would you like to see her just get on with the job?
“That would be really boring! It’s a joy to play someone who with so many layers – both flaws and good things. Christine is multi-faceted. Over the years she’s someone who has had to lie, hide, manipulate and put on a face. Ultimately she’s had to fight to survive and at her core she’s got fire.”