Jaye Jacobs: ‘I hated school dinners!’

It’s a new term at Waterloo Road which means it’s all-change in the staffroom! Former Holby actress Jaye Jacobs tells TV Times magazine about school days, dinners and teaching science!

Hi Jaye! Can you tell us a bit about what your character, science teacher Sian, is like?

“Sian’s nice and so passionate about teaching. She’s focused on getting the kids through their exams, and getting Waterloo Road up to where it should be because it is a failing school. She’s career-driven and would like to be head of a school somewhere someday, as we see in the first episode when she becomes deputy head.”

Sian is married to fellow new teacher, Jez (Alex Walkinshaw). Can you tell us about their relationship?

“They’ve literally just come back from honeymoon. It was a very quick wedding – they’ve only been together five months! Jez is very impulsive, and Sian got very caught up in that and fell in love. Now they have the reality of finding a domestic compatibility, which they don’t have yet. There are some bumps along the way, and Sian begins thinking maybe this was a mistake…”

You didn’t know Alex Walkinshaw before joining Waterloo Road. Are you having fun working with him?

“We have a giggle constantly and far too much on set! It’s weird for me playing a wife because I’ve never been a wife in real-life [Jaye is dating freelance film editor Ben Drury, whom she met on Holby] or played one. But Alex is great and says: ‘Come on, don’t be shy, it’s all going to be fine!'”

For Holby, you wore scrubs. How are you finding Sian’s clothes?

“It’s certainly a step up from my Holby days! I like Sian’s wardrobe. It’s hard because I’m not used to wearing dresses. I’m more self-conscious about my body than Sian is, so I just have to pretend not to be. I have to wear heels all day, too. It used to get to 3pm and my feet would be killing me, but now I can do it all day!”

What do you remember about your own school days?

“I went to a comprehensive school and we certainly didn’t have quite as much fun as they do at Waterloo Road – it was more disciplined! The uniforms the kids wear on the show are brilliant – I would love to have worn them! My uniform was black and white, and we looked like waitresses! I still won’t wear those colours together because I hated it!”

What did your reports say?

“Literally every one of them said: ‘Could be so good, if she ever stopped talking!'”

Were you good at science like Sian?

“No, I was absolutely terrible at it! Second to Maths, it was my most hated subject. But I did get a B-grade for it at GCSE, which I was pleased about. My favourites were Drama, Music, English and Religious Studies. I got all my GCSEs above C-grade, and that was my only goal.”

School dinners: Thumbs up or thumbs down?!

“Definitely a ‘thumbs down’ – I refused school dinners! My mum always made me a packed lunch!”

Waterloo Road returns on Wednesday September 14 at 7.30pm on BBC1

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