Waterloo Road to end in 2015

RICHARD MYLAN, LAURIE BRETT and ANGUS DEAYTON outside the school Richard Mylan, Laurie Brett and Angus Deayton have featured in recent series

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The BBC has confirmed that the long-running school drama Waterloo Road will end next year.

The broadcaster said it was "incredibly proud" of the programme, but that it had "reached the end of its lifecycle".

The show will return this autumn and will air its final 10 episodes next year, which start filming this summer.

Made by Shed Productions, the drama started in 2006 and, at its peak, drew more than five million viewers. In 2011, it beat Sherlock and Doctor Who to win most popular drama at the National Television Awards.

Waterloo Road cast Chelsee Healey and Mark Benton also starred in Waterloo Road

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore and BBC Drama chief Ben Stephenson said: "We are incredibly proud of Waterloo Road, and would like to thank Shed Productions and all the cast and teams involved across the ten series."

They added: "On BBC One it's important to make room for new drama and we are committed to commissioning new drama series for 8pm. There are some really exciting ideas currently in development but nothing to confirm yet."

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Our firm aim is to continue growing the creative sector in Scotland”

End Quote Donalda MacKinnon BBC Scotland

Waterloo Road originally filmed in Greater Manchester but moved to Greenock, near Glasgow, two years ago as the BBC aimed to boost production in Scotland.

At the time, Shed Productions said the relocation would lead to £25m in direct investment and create around 230 jobs, adding that it was a "game-changer for the Scottish television industry".

Donalda MacKinnon, head of programmes at BBC Scotland, said: "It's always sad when any long-running show comes to an end and I know the Waterloo Road team will miss Greenock - as will fans of the show.

"Our firm aim now, however, is to use that to continue growing the TV and the wider creative sector here in Scotland, utilising the increased skill base arising from Waterloo Road to build up future home-grown culturally representative output."

Shed Productions said: "We are obviously sad to see the show go, but we are proud of what the show has achieved for the BBC in its 10-year history and we look forward to making a fantastic last series."

They said the drama, which has had a number of explosive storylines, would "go out with a bang".

Since its launch, Waterloo Road has featured an array of well-known actors including Amanda Burton, Neil Morrissey and Mark Benton. However recent series have seen their ratings drop to less than four million viewers.

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