Waterloo Road

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Most were bemused when the BBC announced last August it was moving one of its most popular dramas, Waterloo Road, lock, stock and barrel from Lancashire to Scotland. After seven popular series in Rochdale, the BBC announced that Waterloo Road would head to Scotland to increase Beeb programming in the region. The show's co-creator Eileen Gallagher said:“From the outset, we were clear that we wouldn’t just move the physical production to Scotland and in the story keep Waterloo Road school in Rochdale. So we had to come up with a storyline that took headmaster, Michael, his core teachers and some of our most loved students with him. “The show's creator, Ann McManus stepped up to the task and devised a storyline which wasn't just believable but one that was true to life and totally in tune with what's happening in education today– that is, the creation of privately funded schools by benefactors'with an agenda'. Returning to his hometown of Greenock, near Glasgow, after two decades away, headteacher Michael Byrne has big plans for the school. His ambition is to instill the importance of education in its pupils, to inspire the next generation and provide a decent education for all that want it– no matter what their background is. School benefactor, and former pupil of Michael, Lorraine Donegan (played by ex EastEnder Daniela Denby-Ashe) supports his vision fully – she did, after all, headhunt him for the position. But it’s not long before her financial plans clash with Michael’seducational ethos and she starts to scrutinise the running of the school. Factor in rivalry with local school Havelock High and its headmaster Gerard Findlay, as well as ghosts from Michael’s past to contend with, the new beginning might not be the new start Michael had hoped for after all...

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