The BBC has announced today that it has commissioned additional series of the popular drama, Waterloo Road. The production of two new series has been greenlit by Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall to Wall North for broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer. This new order, encompassing two series, comes in addition to the already-filmed next series (consisting of 8 episodes, each lasting 60 minutes), effectively confirming the forthcoming creation of three fresh series of Waterloo Road.
The filming for the two newly commissioned series, each comprising eight 60-minute episodes, is set to commence in Greater Manchester in the upcoming autumn season. Further details regarding these series will be revealed in due course.
Initially airing on the BBC from 2006 to 2015, Waterloo Road experienced a resurgence in popularity during the lockdown period through BBC iPlayer. This prompted its return with new episodes at the beginning of 2023, featuring a cast including Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas, and Kym Marsh in school staff roles, along with a group of promising newcomers and emerging talents as students. In the present year, two new series have already been broadcast. Notably, Waterloo Road has maintained its strong viewership on BBC iPlayer. Among 16-34 year olds, it stands among the top three most-watched shows of the year so far, alongside Happy Valley and EastEnders.
With a history of discovering fresh talent both on and off the screen, Waterloo Road will carry on casting significant roles through open auditions held at schools and youth clubs. Additionally, the series will offer workshops and training programs for newcomers, contributing to the enhancement of drama production skills in the North of England. Since the beginning of 2022, a total of 20 trainees have gained paid entry-level work in the industry through six-month placements on Waterloo Road. These placements have encompassed various departments such as costume, art direction, post-production, camera work, and sound. As filming begins this autumn, an additional eight trainees are set to join the series.
Of the recommission news, Cameron Roach, executive producer of Waterloo Road and Founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, says: “We’re beyond thrilled with the triumphant return of Waterloo Road, and so thankful to the BBC for committing to the show so fully. We love that the show has the potential not only to be a crown jewel for BBC iPlayer, but also serve as a true beacon for training, and inspiring next generation talent. In addition to our open auditions and full-time production trainee placements for industry newcomers, our workshops across Greater Manchester this Summer for 14-16 year olds, in partnership with BBC Young Reporter, have truly demonstrated the infectious power of this show.”
Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “It’s been a joy to see Waterloo Road return to the BBC this year, delighting new and returning fans with its fantastic ensemble of relatable characters and a winning mix of heart, humour and high drama. It’s been especially exciting to see the new boxsets prove so popular on iPlayer, and to see the next brilliant generation of acting and production talent break into the industry via their work on the series. Life’s never dull for the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road, and there’s a lot more drama to come!”
Waterloo Road is set and made in Greater Manchester, and produced by the award-winning Wall To Wall in co-production with Rope Ladder Fiction. Lindsay Williams is the Series Producer, with Adam Leatherland and Nasreen Ahmed as Producers and Si Wall as Story Producer. Waterloo Road is executive produced by Cameron Roach for Rope Ladder Fiction, Leanne Klein for Wall To Wall, and Gaynor Holmes and Jo McClellan for the BBC.