When I was sent the role of Waterloo Road’s new deputy from my agent, I instantly liked Simon Lowsley’s character and set my mind on landing the part.

As luck would have it, the weekend before the audition I came down with the norovirus and was horribly ill for the whole week, wiping out my chances of even trying out for it.  

Just as I started feeling human again, the show called me up – they still hadn’t found the right Simon and wanted me to come in again - and here I am. 

Nikki makes the effort with Simon but Grantly warns Christine that Simon is after her job.

Obviously it was nerve-wracking joining such an established show but everyone made me feel welcome and as there’s new people coming in all the time, no one ever feels like the new guy for very long.

Simon is a dynamic character to play. On one hand, he’s ruthlessly ambitious, he doesn’t just want to be a head teacher, he wants to be THE head teacher and I wasn’t sure where this would take him. 

There’s a real drive in him that makes all of the other teachers a bit on edge. Or maybe they’re just fed up of him being such a smug git?

I think he’s a good guy. He cares about making a difference and is genuinely interested in the pupils, even if he comes across as a bit of a jobsworth at times.

Playing Simon has been an education in itself. In one scene, Simon has to step up and take control of Sue Spark’s class as she’s completely lost control.

New teacher Sue Spark struggles to control her unruly class.

It was through this that I learned I have an authoritative side that I’ve actually never had to call upon in my real life teaching (I teach drama to young offenders and at the Prince’s Trust).

I think a pupil/teacher relationship should be one built on trust, rather than fear and this is important no matter who you are teaching. 

I’ve always been of a firm but fair kind of mindset, but if push ever came to shove now, I’d probably just get my 'strict Simon' on.  

I think teaching can be very much like performing drama – enacting a role on stage, like a one-man play. You learn the lines, work on your delivery and make sure it is as engaging as possible so you have a captive audience.

The only difference being the stage is your classroom and you can pause to tell your audience to shut up if they’re not listening!

The new term: watch the trailer for series nine

One of my old teachers was exactly like this. He saw his class as his theatre and when he read out stories, he put on the different voices and embellished the characters. 

I liked that as he made it so much more interesting and I often think of him when I’m reading over the scripts for Waterloo Road.

Some of my friends are teachers and they love the show because they say it’s a true representation of school life, minus the amount of visits by the emergency services!  

There’s a lot of laughter on set as the cast all get on with one another really well.  Joe Slater (Lenny Brown) and Mark Beswick (Darren Hughes) are currently keeping us all entertained with their funny dance. 

It gets more and more elaborate every time they do it (which is a LOT).

Actually I get on a little too well with Laurie Brett, who plays the head Christine Mulgrew – we’re always cracking each other up during filming. 

In fact, it’s only a matter of time before one, or both, of us get sent to detention…  

Richard Mylan plays Simon Lowsley in series nine of Waterloo Road.
 
Waterloo Road continues on Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One and BBC One HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by Jo Holmes

    on 10 Nov 2013 21:13

    Richard. Hi ,Jo Holmes from Swansea. Philippa and her daughter Eve would love a signed photo of you. Please, Please can we have one.
    Love you in Waterloo Rd.
    Jo Holmes Swansea.

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Warren Henery

    on 13 Oct 2013 10:57

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 8. Posted by Richard Mylan

    on 3 Oct 2013 10:15

    Thank you Fenella

  • Comment number 7. Posted by Geoff Fewtrell

    on 26 Sept 2013 19:33

    I am getting more and more angry by the story lines.
    I believe this programme is responsible for a large amount of the school based bullying going on and the public perception of teachers and schools.
    The programme is totally unacceptable. It should be withdrawn..it puts the BBC in a really stupid light. The acting is absolute crap as well

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Kelisi

    on 20 Sept 2013 00:18

    And Mrs Princess Windsor (p.b. Elizabeth Tan) wrote in the poetry book that she'd just given to fresh faced young Kevin Chalk (p.b. Tommy Lawrence), after his impulsive unresisted kiss was interupted, "Forbearance with your dreams". Sounds like a veiled promise of more to come!!!... I loved the music with the shrill toe curling sustain... Ahhhhhh.... I'm hooked.....

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by FenJa

    on 19 Sept 2013 22:54

    I can't believe we're at series 9 already! Always thought it would be fantastic to be a part of the Waterloo road cast! Though perhaps now I'm coming up for 18 I'm out of time, haha. Welcome Richard/Simon, you're a fantastic addition to the cast! Keep up the good work. Fenella x

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Richard Mylan

    on 15 Sept 2013 11:21

    Glad you're enjoying :)

  • Comment number 3. Posted by ZIGGY

    on 13 Sept 2013 21:53

    lovin waterloo Road every series it gets better and better. I like all the new characters this year.

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by Kaijin no Soki

    on 13 Sept 2013 16:27

    I wish they'd just stop this show. It's lost it's dramatic storyline, the gang story arc is what got me watching again. The new characters are just recycled past characters with a 'hard time at home' background.

    Oh yay......... it's no wonder Jason Done left the show, it's become too generic and boring.

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by sexyfurrytigre

    on 13 Sept 2013 12:32

    c

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