Dangerous protest kicks off over racist school as Waterloo Road returns tonight

We’re heading back to school tonight, as Waterloo Road finally returns to BBC One after years away.

Airing in the 8pm slot, the school-based drama will highlight a wide-range of subjects including teen homelessness, the cost of living, being LGBTQ+ and mental health.

With Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths all reprising their roles as Kim, Donte and Chlo, the first episode promises to be dramatic and action packed – and it opens with a protest.

The ordeal kicks off because the school is named after William Beswick – a slave trader – and most of the pupils are determined to create a lot of noise and make a huge change.

Elsewhere, it’s very obvious Kim has changed a lot in the time she’s been away from our screens. She has a new job that involves ‘budgeting, hiring, firing and raising money’ – and a lot of stress, as Angela Griffin explains:

‘It’s very, very different to where she’s come from and there is a reason behind that and that reason comes to light, that she’s trying to distance herself from getting too involved in the pupils’ lives because it hurts and she’s been hurt.’

‘She’s been personally affected by a huge trauma that’s occurred in her life since we last saw her, which comes to the fore as the series goes on, but it’s really defined who she’s become.

‘She was always a natural pastoral care teacher, she was always a natural art teacher, she’s always been involved in the children’s lives. As a head teacher you don’t do that.’

Former Coronation Street stars Kym Marsh, Rachel Leskovac, Ryan Clayton and Sonia Ibrahim are also joining the show, which will comprise of seven hour long episodes.

The younger cast members include: Summer Violet Bird playing ‘Tonya Walters’, Ava Flannery as ‘Verity King’, Thapelo Ray (Doctors) will play ‘Dwanye Jackson’, Inathi Rozani (Biff and Chip) joining as ‘Zayne Jackson’, Chiamaka (ChiChi) Ulebor playing ‘Shola Aku’ with Sahil Ismailkhil as Norrulah Ashimi – who was talent scouted following a production research trip to a local Leeds school.

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