The BBC has officially announced the return of the popular school drama, Waterloo Road (8×60’), for its upcoming series, marking the third season since its relaunch. The new series is scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, 2nd January. The entire season, comprising eight episodes, will be available for streaming on BBC iPlayer from 6 am and will subsequently air every Tuesday at 8 pm on BBC One.

Filmed and set in Greater Manchester, Waterloo Road made a triumphant return to the BBC earlier this year, with two successful series in 2023, solidifying its position as one of the top shows on iPlayer among viewers under 35. The entire Waterloo Road catalogue, including the latest series, is accessible for streaming on BBC iPlayer.

Ahead of its highly anticipated return, the BBC has unveiled a sneak peek of the new series through first-look images featuring stars such as Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas, and Kym Marsh, along with new students Libby Guthrie (Hattie Dynevor), Stace Neville (Tillie Armartey), Lee Schumacher ‘Schuey’ Weever (Zak Sutcliffe), Portia Weever (Maisey Robinson), and Mollie ‘Mog’ Robinson (Aabay Noor Ali).

The upcoming series will delve into real-life issues affecting teenagers, families, and school staff, maintaining Waterloo Road’s signature blend of sharp writing, warmth, and wit. The storyline introduces a group of long-term school refusers, placing the delicate balance of peace and harmony in jeopardy. The central question revolves around whether Headteacher Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin) and her team can prevent the school from sinking.

Libby, making an unexpected return to Manchester to stay with her father, the school’s Head of History Neil Guthrie (Neil Fitzmaurice), proves to be anything but a teacher’s pet. Meanwhile, the introduction of the new student ‘Schuey’ unfolds with a chaotic first day, raising questions about the true nature of this troublemaker.

The series will also continue exploring the impact of Andrew Treneman (Jamie Glover) on Kim, as well as the blurred lines between professional and personal relationships among the teaching staff.

As Preston (Noah Valentine) struggles to readjust to school life, Kelly-Jo (Alicia Forde) and Dean’s (Francesco Piacentini-Smith) relationship faces a significant test.

Returning for the new series of Waterloo Road are familiar faces in the teaching staff, including Vincent Jerome (as Lindon King), James Baxter (Joe Casey), Jo Coffey (Wendy Whitwell), Shauna Shim (Valerie Chambers), Neil Fitzmaurice Rachel Leskovac (Coral Walker), Katherine Pearce (Amy Spratt), Ryan Clayton (Mike Rutherford), and Sonia Ibrahim (Jamilah Omar).

Joining the established pupils are new additions, including Adam Ali (Kai Sharif), Chiamaka (ChiChi) Ulebor (Shola Aku), Inathi Rozani (Zayne Jackson), Liam Scholes (Noel McManus), Lucy Eleanor Begg (Caz Williams), Priyasasha Kumari (Samia Choudhry), Summer Violet Bird (Tonya Walters), and Thapelo Ray (Dwayne Jackson).

This series marks Angela Griffin’s directorial debut, alongside directors Vicky Thomas, Mickey Jones, and Paulette Randall. Lindsay Williams serves as the Series Producer, while the new series is written by a team including Davey Jones, Jayshree Patel, Natalie Mitchell, Jess Barnes, Gareth McLean, Julia Kent, Rebekah Harrison, and Neil Jones.

Cameron Roach, Executive Producer of Waterloo Road and Founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, says: “Waterloo Road arrives back on our screen in the New Year, with a screech of burning rubber, and we don’t let our foot off the gas. We’re incredibly proud of the energy and passion this show delivers on and offscreen, Waterloo Road not only delivers phenomenal numbers on BBC iPlayer, specifically for a young audience, but we really value the number of trainees that have now worked on, and graduated from the show, across all craft disciplines. The writing and directing teams have also been buoyed by new talent to the show, including the brilliant Angela Griffin who directs episodes 5 and 6. We’re so grateful to all cast and crew for their continued commitment to this landmark BBC brand.”

A further two new series of Waterloo Road are currently filming in Greater Manchester for transmission on BBC One and iPlayer at a later date.

Waterloo Road, a Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall to Wall North co-production for BBC One and iPlayer, 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.