This series of the Waterloo Road has seen headmistress Christine Mulgrew subtly battling her alcoholism. From wine found on students before a camping trip to cleaning up after her son’s leaving do, temptation has been everywhere. But just like her friends, family and Waterloo Road students, viewers might not have realised how bad the problem’s become – until now.
Laurie, who also plays EastEnders’ Jane Beale, says: “Off-screen Christine’s been drinking at home! She obviously thinks she can keep it under control. The pressures of being head teacher, her son, Connor, leaving for London and so many other things getting on top of her have a lot to do with the fact she’s back drinking!”
But there’s more to it, Laurie reckons: “Plus it’s her – she is dangerous. Christine has anarchy in her soul.”
In tonight’s episode Christine is pushed to breaking point when she’s forced to deal with student Darren Hughes’s shocking and sinister home life, after indecent photos of his female classmates are found on his phone.
“Mark Beswick, who plays Darren, is usually a comedy character. With this storyline you see him play something very different, and he’s done it brilliantly,” praises Laurie.
“You never know what goes on at home behind closed doors. He may act tough at school and be a bit of a troublemaker, but his home life is pretty grim.”
Watch Waterloo Road tonight on BBC1 at 8pm to see if this is the final straw for an already vulnerable and lonely Christine.