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29 October 2014
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Angela Griffin plays Kim Campbell

School-based drama Waterloo Road comes to BBC ONE, Thursday 9 March 2006

Angela Griffin plays Kim Campbell

Describe your character:


Kim is the Pastoral Care teacher and also the Art teacher. She takes both of these roles very seriously. If the kids have any problems, at home or at school, she is there to help them and counsel them if they need it.


She is very sympathetic to their individual needs and really tries to understand what they are going through. She is from a similar background to them.


She feels very strongly about treating the kids as individuals as opposed to having a 'one hat fits all' method of teaching and discipline. She is not afraid of sticking up for herself or her kids.


Describe your character in three words:


Sympathetic, caring and opinionated.


What do you like about Kim?


Apart from the fact that all the scenes for Kim are very interesting to play, what I most like about playing Kim is her sensitivity with the kids but not necessarily with the teachers.


I usually play quite loud-mouthed northern girls whereas Kim has quite a nice calming tone. I love her kindness, her patience and her ability to see the good and the potential in people.


I don't know how many teachers there are like this in the school system.


What do you least like about Kim?


At the moment there is nothing that I don't like about her. Maybe her defensiveness of her pupils means she sometimes doesn't see what is really going on.


Would you like your character if you met them?


If I ever met Kim I think I would like her - she's a genuinely good person.


What are Kim's life values and do these differ from your own?


Kim values are based on giving everybody a chance and treating them individually, taking everything about their life into consideration.Although this theory seems to fall down slightly when it comes to Andrew.


I'd like to think that I am as un-judgemental as Kim but sometimes you just can't help it. Kim is everything that I would aspire to be I suppose.


How are you similar or different to Kim?


I think I do tend to try and give people a chance, especially when they are from a rough background. Some days I have her patience level, most days I don't.


Does your character have a love interest?


Kim's love interest in the show is probably Andrew but I don't think she knows it yet.


The two characters are very similar in their passions but complete polar opposites in their approaches and also their backgrounds. Opposites attract and all that.


Which character do you think Kim relates to best?


Kim doesn't really have a special relationship with any of the teachers to start off with. She tends to get on with everybody, with no really special bond with any one particular teacher. She is more of a pupil teacher.


Do you think you'd make a good teacher?


I used to think I'd make a great teacher but having had 200 children on set, I've worked out that I would have been crap. Not enough patience.


What school did you go to?


I went to Beeston Primary School, Hugh Gaitskell Middle School and Intake High School, all in Leeds.


What aspect of school did you enjoy the most?


I absolutely, one hundred percent loved school.


I sound like a nerd but I just loved learning, I loved being told that I'd done really well, I loved the praise, I loved being with my mates all day and just the general structure of school.


I also loved having rules and knowing where I stood.


What was your favourite subject and why?


I loved Drama obviously but also Maths strangely, because of the logic of it. Again there are rules and as long as you stick to them you get everything right, you don't have to be too creative.


I think most actresses like English and stuff like that but not me.


What was your least favourite subject?


I think my least favourite subject at high school was Geography, because the teacher was awful. He had no control over the class and made it the most boring lesson in the whole world.


I'd always done really well in Geography until we started GCSE and the teacher changed. I got an E in my exams and all because I had no respect for the teacher and used to give him grief and then get sent out of the class.


Eventually he'd ask me to leave before we'd even started the lesson to save time later.


What were your school reports like?


My school reports were generally very good. If the teacher could inspire me I was very willing to work and quite clever but if they didn't I would witter on and become really distracted.


Can you remember any of the descriptions used in your school reports used to describe you?


"Angela could do better if she spent more time writing than talking", "Angela has lots of energy that needs to be channelled in the right direction".


Did you have to wear a uniform and if so, what was it like?


We had to wear a uniform in High School and it was the same colour as the Waterloo Road jumpers and then a white shirt, burgundy and grey striped tie, black bottoms and black shoes.


Did you have an inspiring teacher?


I had so many inspiring teachers. Miss Bricknell in primary school got me obsessed with reading. I used to love how she held the books and said the words at story time.


I used to go home and pretend to be her and tell stories to my imaginary pupils.


Mr Elsdon was a great strict teacher who taught me discipline without making me cry. I loved it when you knew where you stood with a teacher.


Have you ever had the opportunity to teach?


I've never had the opportunity to teach but If I did, I think I could only teach kids who wanted to be taught. I'd love to think I could inspire kids but I don't know what I would do if I had someone in my class who just wasn't interested.


What sort of student were you?


I was a very average student I think. I was quite confident and thought I knew it all but constantly found that I didn't. For most of the time I was keen but I could be a royal pain in the arse if I wasn't interested.


I got put on report lots and lots of time but never expelled or suspended or anything. I got nine GCSE's and seven of those were a C and above.


Have you continued to study in any form?


I went on to college when I left school to study Theatre Studies, English Language and Literature and Psychology.


Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever way you want to see it, I got Coronation St when I was 16 and only managed to complete a year of my A-levels before I had to leave.


I tried to carry on doing Psychology at night school and then Open University but I just never had the time, so I had to give up. I will complete it one day though as I absolutely loved it... just as soon as I get the time!


Do you still keep in touch with anyone you were at school with?


I don't really keep in constant touch with anyone I went to school with.


I email a few people who now live in New Zealand and Canada and find out about local people and stuff but I don't really have close friends from school, which I do find a massive shame.


Have you ever been a victim of bullying?


I have been a victim of bullying but not any extreme cases. My older brothers taught me how to defend myself verbally and physically.


My mum always used to tell me they picked on me because they were jealous, she used to say 'they all spend hundreds and hundreds of pounds to go to Spain to look like you' which I still find very funny because it was true.


She also told me to smile because most people can't be mean to someone who is smiling.


Any words of advice to kids who are victims of bullying?


If people are being bullied then I think the first thing they need to do is to tell someone, a teacher, a parent, an auntie or uncle because they can be helped and they don't deserve to be bullied.


As hard as it is they should also try and remember that bullying is about the bully being insecure and it doesn't mean you are a bad person.


How do you think you would do if you went back to school now?


I'd love to go back to school now, knowing what I know now. I'd be much better behaved.


If you have kids of your own, do you take a keen interest in their education?


Living in London, especially North London has meant that I have had to take a massive interest in my daughter's education even though she is only 18 months old. It is very competitive and places at good schools are scarce.


Because of all the pressure though we may have to move out of London.


Were you good at sport at school?


I was quite good at sport at school until I got to 13 and started smoking. Then it all took a nose dive, which is a shame as I really loved it. I was very competitive and loved all the games like rounders and cricket.


How do you keep in shape these days?


Nowadays I keep in shape by using my fitness video; I can do it at home and fit it in around my schedule.


What do you think about school dinners?


After watching Jamie's School Dinners I was appalled at the quality of the food at schools and I'm thankful to him for bringing it into the spotlight.


Food and especially additives can have a massive impact on behaviour and it's beneficial in so many ways to give a fresh and nutritional diet to youngsters.


I remember Pot Noodles being banned from after school rehearsals as they sent us all hyper.


Where were you born and brought up?


I was born and brought up in Leeds.


Where do you live now?


I now live in North London.


If you had to teach, what subject would you like to teach most?


If I was going to teach it would have to be Drama as it's the only subject I would have confidence about.


What were your first impressions of arriving at Waterloo Road set?


Walking into the Waterloo Road set was very strange as I couldn't originally get my head around me being a teacher rather than a student.


It wasn't until I was surrounded by the kids that I finally realised I'm not 15 anymore. Quite depressing really.


Are the classrooms and corridors of Waterloo Road the same as when you were at school or can you see changes?


The classrooms and corridors are exactly the same as my old school. All concrete floors, walls and stairs and all grubby. The toilets are hilarious too as there are the really tiny ones for the little kids.


Describe the staffroom at Waterloo Road:


The staffroom is brilliant, I remember always wanting to get into it when I was at school and now finally I've made it.


The first scene we had in there, props had put in boxes of chocolates as dressing. We just ate them all, none of them made it into an actual take.


Do you think Waterloo Road is a realistic portrayal of a school?


I think that Waterloo Road is as realistic portrayal of a school, as much as TV will allow anyway. I think it is probably a bit grittier than other TV schools but that is the point.


How did you spend your school holidays?


I spent my school holidays going to my cousins' houses as my mum had a full time job. I didn't go on holidays or anything.


Did you have a Saturday job?


I did have a Saturday job; I had quite a few in fact. I worked in an Italian delicatessen and a video shop and Burger King.


Do you have brothers and sisters and were you at school together?


I have two brothers who are older than me and they preceded me to my primary and middle school but not my high school.


One of them got quite a reputation at the high school near where I lived so it was best that I didn't follow him just in case they tarred me with the same brush.


Can you remember how much pocket money you used to get?


My mum used to give me one pound for every job that I did in the house. She knew by doing this she wouldn't have to pay me more than about £2 a week, 'cos I hated vacuuming and polishing.


Did you ever go on a school trip?


I went on a couple of school trips. In primary school I went to Scarborough and I remember my mum trying to tell the teacher how to brush my hair and put it into bunches. Poor teacher, it used to really hurt and she really had no idea.


I also went to France on the ferry in middle school and we camped. I loved it, asking for ham and cheese sandwiches in French. I remember being told that my French was very good by a shopkeeper; I was very smug after that.


I also went on one of those adventure holidays where you go rock climbing and abseiling. I really can't imagine sending Tallulah off on one of those holidays without worrying to death.


Were you naughty at school?


Sometimes I was naughty at school, yes.


What was the worst thing you did and did you get caught?


I suppose the worst thing I did was smoke in the toilets, and I did get caught, all the time. We also used to fill condoms with water and put them down the toilet or cover the seat with cling film. A lot of naughtiness went on in the toilets.


What age did you leave school and what did you do next?


I left school at 16 and went to college but didn't ended up doing my A levels because I was in Coronation Street.


What was your first ever job?


My first job was working in the Italian Delicatessen serving and helping prepare food and washing up - a lot of washing up.


What was your first professional acting role?


My first professional acting role was in a children's programme called 'Under The Bedclothes' for ITV when I was 13.


Were you a member of a drama club?


I was a member of the Leeds Children's Theatre and the South Leeds Youth Theatre. Also Intake High had a drama course which I did.


What role are you best known for?


I am best known for my roles as Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street, Jasmine Hopkins in Holby City and more recently as Darcey Henshall in Cutting It.


What is your favourite storyline?


I'm very interested in the relationship between Andrew Treneman and Kim.


What have you enjoyed most about recording waterloo road?


I had the most fantastic time. The crew were great and the cast fantastic. I especially loved working with Jamie Glover, who is very funny, but don't tell him I said that.


The schedule was hard but somehow everyone stayed calm and there was no panic, we just get through it all.


It was so exciting working on a new project and there was a real buzz about it. It was lots of laughs with lots of hard work.


Have you any long term goals or ambitions for the future?


My long term goals are to just keep on working like I am doing now and to have more children.





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