Tag Archives: daniela denby-ashe

Waterloo Road: Maddest ever episode. And it’s not even the end of term

(Series 8, Ep.28) There was rather an end-of-term feel to this episode, what with the inspirational speeches, the mass staff resignations, the change of head teacher and the thwarted acid attack. But there are still a couple of episodes of madness to go before we can hang up our lab coats and bin our pencil cases for this series.

michael lorraine waterloo roadMichael Byrne was seeking to get the local council to take over Waterloo Road from right under the nose of Cockney Lorraine, who was determined to turn the school into the fee-paying Lorraine Donnegan Institute of Excellence (L-DIE). This was the episode where Lorraine (dress code: Bible black) went completely power-crazed and was practically twirling an invisible moustache, so determined was she to get Scotland’s most surreal school on a profit-making footing and bask in glory and cash. Any teacher who didn’t agree with her Vision of the Future was welcome to collect their P45, she announced. Maggie the Dinnerlady said she’d stay, what with having Grantly to look after and that, but Lorraine didn’t want her. Frankly Maggie’s approach to power dressing would have entirely downgraded the promotional brochure and Lorraine wasn’t having any of that kind of thing. The teachers with integrity (practically all of them, given that they were drawn to Waterloo Road by the prospect of Helping These Kids) all said they’d leave.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: An almost wedding and a sort-of strike

(Series 8, Ep.27) I’m loving Waterloo Road at the moment. It’s gloriously barmy, operating in an alternative universe where the real world has practically ceased to exist and only soap rules apply.

waterloo roadThis week it was the wedding of the teacher with the pointy face and her boyfriend, who only arrived in this country from Malawi a few short weeks ago and has now been installed in the Waterloo Road basement with an Addams Family chair and various swooning females for company. And he has his own Waterloo Road polo shirt. No one else has one, so it must have been specially made for him.

If only he’d been specially made for Audrey, but no sooner had he set foot in his new basement than he was setting other parts of himself (don’t dwell) on Less Cockney Sonya. So smitten was Sonya that she was even decorating Audrey and Ndale’s wedding cake with the words “Congratulations Ndale and Sonya.” It was the finest wedding cake moment since Ruby Fry smashed up Rachel Mason’s cake back in series five.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Kevin Chalk, sword of vengeance

(Series 8, Ep.26) Having been without a functioning TV aerial and with internet powered by three candles and an empty baked beans can, I’ve been unable to watch Waterloo Road for a couple of weeks. This week I acquired an extra candle and managed to watch it on iPlayer and I’m very pleased I did. Talk about drama!

kevin steveo connor waterloo roadAny episode of anything that starts of with Gang of Four as a soundtrack (‘Anthrax,’ no less) is going to make me happy, and in this case it was the soundtrack to the dastardly “Hawaii” Steve-O outlining his plans to turn Connor’s hand to burglary and other money-making crimes. If Connor hadn’t already been the palest colour it’s possible for a live human to be, he’d have gone pale.

The extent of Steve-O’s nastiness only became clear (to me, as presumably this was seen in a previous episode) when Dynasty admitted to Kevin that he’d raped her. At this point I have to say the acting from Abby Mavers throughout this episode was brilliant, and she also has the most beautiful accent. Anyway, her admission turned Kevin into a quivering bundle of rage and he concocted a plan to kill Steve-O, with the help of Connor. This sounded about as good a plan as the one to get Connor to rob houses.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: The future is digital

dynasty waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.23)  It was episode 2 in Dynasty Barry’s tussle between Education and Upbringing (episode one being the one where she chose education over pole dancing). With the arrival of her jailbird boyfriend Steve-O (he should wear brighter shirts then we could call him Hawaii Steve-O), all thoughts of the inter-school chess championship were thrown out of the window in favour of an engagement ring from the Katie Price for Argos Collection and a quick fumble in the Music Room.

dynasty waterloo rdShe should have realised Steve-O was a bad sort, aside from the fact that he’d just got out of prison. She really ought to have recognised him as the nasty man who pimped out poor Whitney on EastEnders. Not that the actor (Jody Latham) is getting typecast or anything.

kevin chalk waterloo roadShe saw the light when she saw the contents of his car boot – several top-of-the-range generic laptops which Cockney Lorraine had purchased for the school’s exciting new IT facility. Steve-O was dumped, and Dynasty ended up having a Thomas Crown Affair-style erotically charged chess game with Kevin Chalk (some sterling work by Dynasty’s false eyelashes), followed by a snog with him against a picturesque maritime backdrop. Talk about the odd couple… Anyhoo, Steve-O isn’t going to give up that easily, and administered a kicking to Young Master Chalk as a bit of a warning to Keep Off His Bird.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: 30% cuts week

lorraine waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.22) Lorraine Donnegan’s accountant has told her she needs to slash the Waterloo Road budget by 30%. That’s a lot of slashing, so she decided she’d start by moving into Michael Byrne’s office. Has it suddenly become much larger? I’d swear it used to be a bit more snug, but maybe he used to have a false wall in there to make it smaller so Sian Diamond would have to wriggle past him for staff meetings. Now he’s on a pipe-and-slippers domestic footing with Jane Beale, he has no need of such stratagems and the extra space has come in handy for Cockney Lorraine and her ergonomic desk chair.

Further savings were to be found by making Michael do an honest day’s teaching instead of slumping over his desk all day waiting for disasters to happen. To make sure he could still hack it on the shop floor, Nikki Boston was dispatched to watch. If Nikki observed all the teachers, Lorraine (dress code: leather and black lace) reasoned, she’d be able to spot teachers who were not adding value, who could then be Drastically Cut.

waterloo roadThe prime candidate for that sort of thing would in normal times have been Grantly Budgen, a man with such a gift for teaching he makes Steph Haydock look like Dead Poets Society. But these are not normal times for Grantly, what with having rapidly deteriorating kidneys and that. It’s put a dreadful burden on Maggie the Dinnerlady, who was faced this week with the added pressure that Lorraine wanted to slash the canteen budget as well and made Maggie compete with local takeaway owner The Prince of Spices for the honour of serving the school meals.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: The return of the giant broccoli

waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.21)  Back we go to Waterloo Road, refreshed after the holidays. Sian Diamond has gone, and Cockney Lorraine has replaced her as Deputy Head with girlfriend Nikki Boston. It is her school, after all, so she doesn’t have to go through boring stuff like a proper recruitment procedure. Though Lorraine’s accountant has spotted that there’s not a lot of money to be made in a school (unless you’re Barry Barry and have sidelines in drugs and nicked cars) and has advised her to dump it. Lorraine, however, isn’t just in it for the money. She has a Vision, and like Michael Byrne she wants to do her best for the people they both insist on referring to as These Kids. If it comes down to a contest between These Kids and her Ferrari, though, she’s going to have a tough decision on her hands.

Grantly Budgen needs a new kidney, and Maggie the Dinner Lady isn’t a suitable match. He is therefore currently undergoing regular dialysis at home, which is the front bedroom of the boarding house for troublesome teens. As if the troublesome teens don’t have enough to worry about already.

The thing worrying Connor and Emo Imogen is how Jane Beale is going to take the news that they’re already married. They weren’t the most worried pupils this week, though. That would be problem-pupil-of-the-week Fergal Doherty, pursued by the father of his ex girlfriend who died of something drugs-related, and making ends meet by getting Harley off his head on something potent and unspecified. Dear, innocent Harley was only saved from a long drop off the school roof by the swift intervention of someone the teacher with the pointy face picked up in Africa.

Kacey Barry, meanwhile, has decided she wants to be called Robbie (“Robbie Barry” has a certain swagger to it, I agree) and use the boys’ toilets. Barry’s not happy about this, and Tom Clarkson has suggested the unisex teachers’ toilets as a compromise. I’m not sure who the unisex teachers are, but it’s kind of them to let Robbie/Kacey use their toilets.

The most exciting thing for me this week was spotting that there’s a giant sculpture of broccoli (and other veg) above the canteen door. It was only glimpsed briefly, but from now on I’m going to be on broccoli-watch to see if it reappears again. It would have gone so nicely with the W of pie from Series 6.

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)


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Waterloo Road: A wedding, a death, a serious illness and a job offer

imogen connor wedding waterloo road(Series 8, Ep. 20)  What did I love about this episode? Against expectations, I loved the wedding – particularly the part when Connor busted out his sign language moves. I’d completely forgotten that Imogen is deaf (or partly deaf), so it was unexpected but completely appropriate, touching and beautiful. It even made Emo Imogen genuinely smile.

scout waterloo road katie mcglynnI also loved the acting of Katie McGlynn as Jodie/Scout. Her useless mother died, and Jodie’s reaction was to go straight to school to sit her exam, so she could get a place at university and become a teacher and try to inspire and support kids the way the Waterloo Road staff have inspired and supported her over the years. I know – snarf at that last bit, since she spent most of this term being bullied by Nikki Boston. But we’ll forget all that for the sake of a happy ending for Scout, as we see her leave Waterloo Road for the bright lights of university. Or Coronation Street.   Continue reading


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