When Waterloo Road returns Christine Mulgrew is clean, sober and running the school, but actress Laurie Brett reveals she feared fans would hate her character when she joined in 2012.

“When I started Waterloo Road I thought I was going to get lynched in the street by teenagers who love Shane O’Meara’s character Connor. It turns out that although they love Connor they also love his mother Christine, too. And they like her because she’s a bit nasty!” revealed Laurie in an exclusive chat with What’s on TV.

“We’ve seen the many faces of Christine, both at home and at work, so viewers have gotten to know her quite well. They understand why she is the way she is. I think that’s why I never got the flack I thought would.”

Despite Christine’s dastardly treatment of Connor in her destructive drinking days, audiences have come to love the troubled English teacher-turned headmistress. But how do viewers regard the new, improved Christine?

“Some people like the new sober Christine, but most want to know when she’s going to hit the bottle again!” laughs Laurie, who previously starred as Jane Beale in EastEnders. “We all like to watch that – it’s drama!”