Laurie Brett, EastEnders’ Jane Beale and finalist on Let’s Dance for Sport Relief, will join the cast of BBC One’s award-winning drama Waterloo Road when the eighth series relocates to Scotland to start filming next month.
Made by Shed Productions (a Shed Media Company), the popular drama is currently on-screen for its seventh series - the last to be shot in its former Rochdale home.
Hamilton-born Laurie stars in the forthcoming eighth series of Waterloo Road as Christine Mulgrew, who joins the English department as one of the new teachers appointed by headmaster Michael Byrne (played by Alec Newman) when he sets up a new school in Scotland.
Ahead of her move to Scotland, Laurie will dust off her dancing shoes and team up with fellow EastEnder Tameka Empson (plays Kim Fox) to give a unique performance of Telephone - as Lady Gaga and Beyonce. The pair will compete for glory in the Let’s Dance For Sport Relief final on Saturday 17 March on BBC One.
Laurie Brett says: “I am thrilled to be joining Waterloo Road. I have watched it on and off from the start as my good friend Jill Halfpenny was in the first series. The character I will be playing is such a complex woman, with many issues, and it will be a real departure from what people are used to seeing me do. Not least because for the first time in my career I will be working in my native accent which I am really excited about.”
Cameron Roach, Head of Drama for Shed Productions & Executive Producer, Waterloo Road, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Laurie to Waterloo Road fresh from her success with EastEnders. Making her mark as Christine, a new recruit for Michael Byrne, Laurie’s character is an exciting addition to our brilliant ensemble and will ensure that Waterloo Road makes some noise as it lands on Scottish turf.”
Gaynor Holmes, Acting Head of Drama, BBC Scotland and BBC Executive Producer, Waterloo Road, adds: “Laurie is a fantastic new addition to our incredible cast and we’re sure the audience are going to love watching her character, Christine, unfold on screen. It’s great to see Waterloo Road going from strength to strength, continuing its reputation for attracting popular, stellar acting talent, always telling gripping stories”.
Moving the Waterloo Road production to Scotland is part of the BBC’s move to increase network programming from Scotland and the other nations of the UK, providing a significant boost to the Scottish creative sector.
The show will be filmed and edited on location at the former Greenock Academy school building which has been transformed into the new Waterloo Road set and production base. Filming begins in April on an initial 50 one-hour episode commission, to be filmed over two years.