Amanda Burton talks to TV Times magazine about saying goodbye to Karen Fisher, working with Robson Green and why Waterloo Road has never been better…

What has being in the how been like?
“I massively enjoyed my time at Waterloo Road and Karen has been really good fun to play. There’s a huge family attachment which is something I’ve really enjoyed, but I just loved the story of my 30 episodes, so I felt that it was a very good thing to leave it there.”

Karen seems much happier this series?
“Yes, I’ve been able to lighten her up quite a lot and have much more fun with her. When we first met Karen she was having problems with her marriage and her daughter, Bex, had been missing for two years. It was a very angst-filled time for her, but a lot of things have resolved themselves in her family now and she’s been able to think about having some time for herself. Plus of course there’s been the arrival of someone who catches her eye in Robson Green’s character, Rob. She has been distracted at work, which is very unlike her!”

Have you enjoyed working with Robson?
“It’s been great fun and a lovely tonic to Karen’s other storylines. Robson and I had lots of good scenes to play together and I’d wanted to work with him because I thought we’d be a good team. I hope that plays out on camera.”

It is a closely guarded secret but what can you say about Karen’s departure?
“Karen has to really fight for her school and for her own standing, because it’s a failing school and they don’t feel that she’s in control. She makes some unwise decisions, things spiral out of control and that’s really where we leave Karen at the end.”

Are you missing the show?
“The cast and crew on Waterloo Road are all really lovely and quite extraordinary. It’s a tough show to do and it really is non-stop – people’s energy and commitment is second to none up there.”

What about winning the National Television Award for Most Popular Drama?
“Winning the NTA was fantastic. I was very surprised and thrilled and it was lovely for the show that it had been recognised. The audience response to the programme is amazing. There are people who you think would never in a million years sit down and watch Waterloo Road, but they’re hooked on it. That can only be good for the show and its longevity.”

What do you think is the key to its success?
“It’s a show that anybody of any age can watch and I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed it. It’s pre-watershed, but it deals with some pretty big issues and stuff that allows young people to think about how they’re behaving. Topics like homosexuality, gender issues and bullying – all the things that kids are faced with today – and how to explain to people if you feel that you’re not the same as everybody else. I think it has opened up a lot of discussion.”

What have you been doing since finishing filming?
“I’ve been resting! I’ve been spending time living my life. I have two daughters, Phoebe and Brid, who are both at university so I’ve been able to go and visit them and catch up with friends who I haven’t seen for such a long time. It’s been really lovely, but I’m ready to work again now.”

What sort of role would appeal?
“It’s very difficult to say what you want. Part of the delight of being an actor is that things come along, which you perhaps didn’t expect, like Waterloo Road and you think ‘Yes, that’s interesting – I’ll go with that.’ I’d like to do a period piece, but perhaps not too far back in time, maybe something set in the 1970s or 1980s…”

Is there anything you don’t miss?
“Karen’s wardrobe. I have a very different style to her! It was very sweet sometimes when she was trying to be trendy – she’d wear a leather jacket and her kids would say ‘Oh God, mum, what have you come dressed as?!'”