Tag Archives: George Sampson

Waterloo Road: End of term, and the end of an era

waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.30) It was the last day of term at Waterloo Road, a day when traditionally the whole school comes together for an Event of some sort, and something goes very badly wrong.

Given that we knew Jason Done was done with Waterloo Road, the chances were high that the thing that went badly wrong would involve Tom Clarkson. For weeks my money has been on him dying on the operating table as he waved one of his kidneys off in the general direction of Grantly Budgen, but that’s probably because I watch too much Holby.

Obviously things were more complicated than that, and it was going to be something to do with Kyle Stack, the disturbed youth with the hunted-animal eyes and the seductive dance moves (not on display here) who turned up at Waterloo Road fresh from prison and apparently ready to get himself some book learning.

(if you haven’t seen it yet, there are spoilers ahead)  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: If the crossbow doesn’t get you, the delivery truck will

(Series 7, Ep.30) Oh my giddy aunt. I don’t even know where to start with Wednesday’s Waterloo Road – the last in the term, the last in the series and the last in Rochdale. Exploding caravans? Teachers running away to marry their pupils?  Mild and uneventful in comparison.

At the risk of sounding like a twisted game of Cluedo, we had Kyle Stack in the assembly hall with a crossbow. The crossbow was pointed at the (greasy – lay off the Brylcreem, lad) head of Finn Sharkey. This ghastly assassination attempt was thwarted by Our Josh, who legged it back from being suspended scarily off the edge of a multi-storey car park by pocket sized gangster Eugene  (“I’m a man of deed and I follow through, you get me?” he muttered menacingly, before being scared off by Tom Clarkson and failing to follow through). “Kyle has a crossbow and it is aimed at Finn’s Brylcreemed head!” shouted Our Josh (or something similar) and it was enough to put Mr Stack off his aim and Our Josh took one in the shoulder as a result.  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Don’t you dur say anything!

(Series 7, Ep.29) Guest Pupil of this week was one Danilo Babicz. Have we had an asylum seeker at Waterloo Road before? We have now, because that was the Issue our Danilo was there to represent. Scout’s no-good mother had arranged with Dan’s brother that Scout would marry him so he could stay in the country. The problem was, Scout was rather fond of him and thought he felt the same about her. The rat! Luckily she had Phoenix and his mad hair to fall back on.

While Scout was wandering around Rochdale in a wedding dress, Kyle Stack was wandering around Waterloo Road being impressively evil. A security guard had been installed near the school gate, but he wasn’t anywhere near as effective as the previous security guard, Tim Healy, and Kyle was able to slip into school without any bother and creep out Nicki Boston. There was a scene that was fairly mad even by Waterloo Road standards, in which Nicki Boston went to pieces during a class because of Evil Kyle Stack, and a small riot almost ensued before order was restored, military-style, by Shona and Rhona.

We finally discovered what the purpose of Trudi and Tariq’s sister Naseem was. It was so she could get almost set on fire by Finn Sharkey and then rescued by Finn Sharkey, thus escalating all this gang business. To be honest I’ve given up trying to work out who is in what gang. Finn seems to get beaten up on a weekly basis whether he’s in a gang or not and on a weekly basis I’m on the Pauseliveaction sofa yelling, “Not his face! Not his FACE!”

Fleur’s ashes have barely had time to cool in the urn, and already Grantly is draping his pants on them. This was because he got together with the dinner lady – well, Grantly does like his food. I don’t really want to dwell on this storyline too much because it  would mean having to think about Grantly’s private parts. If I did that I’d have to go and have my memory erased again.

Let’s move on to the less worrying topic of Little Zack Diamond, who got fed up with being a chip off the old Diamond (it was only a couple of weeks ago he was having DNA tests and bonding with Papa like nobody’s business, but that’s kids for you and parents can be, like so embarrassing) and decided to change his name to Zack Brown. No idea why, really, but he found it hilariously easy to crack Janeece’s password to the school computer to change his name on there.

At the end of the episode, a big bombshell was dropped – Waterloo Road is going to close! And, coincidentally, Michael Byrne has had the offer of a job running a school in Scotland. Could it be anything to do with this?

Next time: Finn Sharkey in the crosshairs of a crossbow at the school disco! Our Josh also in deadly danger! And *dances with excitement* RONAN BURLEY!

Posted by PLA (see more Waterloo Road posts)


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Waterloo Road: Our Josh’s descent into drugs hell

(Series 7, Ep.23) Our Josh’s spiral into the grip of the dreaded weed has been as sudden and unexpected as… well, as most things on Waterloo Road, really. Last week he was found to be partial to a bit of waccy baccy. This week we found he was also partial to to his dealer, one Grady. We kind of got the feeling that Grady wasn’t going to be the next Nate as he was clearly more interested in business than the pleasures of Josh. Josh ended up brokenhearted and puking all over a temporary English teacher.

There were two temporary English teachers this week. They were being interviewed for the post of Head of English. One was hippy and dippy and was full of the joys of Dickens, and the other one was a tough, no-nonsense army type. You can guess which one got the job, and it was mainly due to her hunting down and pursuing Josh’s drugs dealer with the relentless guile and sheer athleticism of a jaguar or Chris Mead. I was actually thrilled to see her sprinting across the playground at the end of the episode, because I’ve missed having a teacher who could run.

The teacher who didn’t get the job attempted to bag herself a consolation prize by asking headmaster Michael Byrne out for a drink. There is something about that head teacher chair at Waterloo Road – it renders anyone who sits in at as completely magnetic to the opposite sex. I reckon it’s the pheromones left behind by Jack Rimmer.

Talking of pheromones, Trudi and Finn decided to take their relationship “to the next level.” Finn stocked up on condoms, because he’s a responsible citizen. He’d better stock up on full body armour when Tariq finds out. Finn and Trudi had to make a video for the school website, and Evil Kyle Stack left the camera running while they were messing about. It landed them in hot water with Sian, who thought they should take their head girl/boyship seriously, but I wonder whether some of the more incriminating footage won’t find its way to Tariq.

Grantly lost £800 of his Avon lady money and it was found by Phoenix, who took Denzil and Scout on a shopping spree to buy flashy headphones and trainers – basically, anything they could find that would be blatantly obvious to anyone looking for some lost money. Think of all the drugs Josh could have bought with £800.

Next time: Josh’s descent into drugs hell continues and Zack doesn’t think Jez is his real dad. Maybe the Botox has rendered him unrecognisable to his own kids.

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Waterloo Road: Meet the gang

(Series 7, Ep.21) The start of yet another half term on Waterloo Road (I seem to say that with increasing regularity. Are the terms getting shorter, or is it just old age creeping up on me?). No exploding caravan or child lost on the moors for this episode. Rather than Rochdale Gothic, WR went for Inner City Gritty and we had an episode filled with dangerous gangland violence like graffiti, knife-wielding, setting fire alarms off and pouring Sprite on the teacher’s desk.

It was Tariq who did the Sprite thing, and I think that tells us all we need to know about his bad boy credentials. He’s not really cut out for this hard man stuff. We already knew that, of course, because we were there when Trudi was telling Finn how Tariq used to cry a lot when he was in the Young Offenders Institute. Tariq had been settling down fairly nicely in Waterloo Road, give or take the odd bout of threatening behaviour, but this week he got dragged back into the world of gangland crime by one Mason Price, a school pupil who looked older than many of the teachers and who seemed to have styled his fringe with a mascara wand. In other words, he was Hard. Every Mr Big needs a right hand man, and Mason’s was Kyle Stack, who was over-compensating for his seductive body-popping in the school pantomime by being all snarly and unpleasant.

When you join a gang you have to prove yourself by doing something particularly mean, and Tariq was required to beat up, and preferably stab, Finn Sharkey. Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Long live WR!

(Series 7, Ep.10) Whenever I think of Chris Mead, I shall picture him bounding like a young gazelle across Formby sands in pursuit of Finn and Amy. It was a magnificent feat of athleticism, and one which he reprised in the final episode of this term, as he jogged gamely along the platform at Manchester Piccadilly Station to save Scout and Our Little Liam from evil drug dealer types. Not a hair out of place. Breathtaking. Scout, however, was less impressed. She didn’t want to go into “curr.” She curred so much about not going into curr that she made Denzil swurr not to tell anyone that she was planning to take Liam, a fistful of drugs money and a packed lunch to That London on a train. But Denzil is a curring type of lad and he’s seen the documentaries, so he told Chris what was going on.

Chris’s hasty departure from the school premises in pursuit was badly timed for Karen, who was busy trying to impress school inspector Alison (Tracy-Ann Obermann). Throw in Finn, Josh, Amy and Lauren taking a turn around the school car park in Tom Clarkson’s car, via the cycling proficiency class helmed by nervous cyclist Daniel Chalk, and you have all the makings of what most school inspectors would term “failure.” “Your deputy head just seriously undermined your authority, minutes after four of your pupils were caught joyriding,” summed up Inspector Alison. Put that way, it didn’t sound good.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Heartbreaker

(Series 7, Ep.3) My usual approach to writing about Waterloo Road is to be all flippant and (ideally) amusing about it. Do they not know how hard they’re making it for me at the moment? It’s very tricky to be F and A when a beloved character has been smitten by a terminal illness. So let’s get the serious stuff dealt with first. This week, Sambuca Kelly discovered that her brain tumour is incurable. She didn’t find this out from her mum (who already knew and couldn’t think of a way to tell her) or Tom Clarkson (who knew but was too busy ringing round hospitals trying to find someone who just might have a cure that no-one else had thought of). She did a bit of research on the internet then took herself off to the hospital to ask her consultant which of the many pills she was on was going to shrink her tumour. He told her the truth – none of them would. She was dying. Holly Kenny is playing this difficult role with astonishing skill, maturity and honesty. Every tiny emotion is there on her face, and it’s quite heartbreaking.

Talking of heartbreaking, what is Vicki McDonald playing at? She was proposed to in front of the whole school (well, a representative selection of regulars and extras, anyway) by the magnificent Ronan Burley. It was all very romantic, with Grantly summing up the joyous mood:  “The countdown to teen pregnancy and messy divorce starts now.” Continue reading

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Waterloo Road: Back to school shocks

(Series 7, Ep.1) Waterloo Road started a new, 30 week, run last night at an earlier time slot than usual. The 7.30pm start was presumably to try and hook in some new viewers who haven’t been exposed to the delights of our favourite dysfunctional secondary school before.

Anyone who did tune in could have been forgiven for being slightly traumatised come 8.30. Indeed PLA Jr has announced her intention of spending the next few years “wrapped in bubblewrap,” as she now feels that being a teenager is just too fraught with danger.

But before we get on to that, what seasoned WR viewers want to know is who’s in and who’s out. Well, Cesca Montoya, Ruby Fry and Adina Lawal are out on the staff side. New teachers for this term are Eleanor Chaudry (Poppy Jhakra, previously seen on Corrie), who is a fierce, no-nonsense Tory who takes no crap from stroppy teenagers or softies like Tom Clarkson (a shame, this, as he’s her head of department).

Her polar opposite is Daniel Chalk the maths teacher (Mark Benton), the sort of teacher who practically has “kick me” written on his forehead. He’s been taken under the wing of new staff member number three. Robson Green (for it is he, playing Rob Scotcher) may just be an ‘umble caretaker (or “site supervisor” to give him his proper title), but he apparently knows more about teaching than you can shake a stick at. I don’t think I’m going to get very good odds for my bet that he’ll end up being promoted from the cleaning cupboard to the staffroom before very many weeks have passed. Talking of that cleaning cupboard, the Polish caretaker last term had only a small closet as his domain, but Rob Scotcher (will anyone call him “Hop”?) enjoys a bigger room than most of the classrooms to keep his bottles of Jeyes Fluid and his power tools and to flirt with Mrs Fisher (it’s time Karen had a bit of love interest, and obviously Chris Mead is out – that would be too spooky, what with Jess and all).      Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: And the bride wore handcuffs

(Series 6, Ep.20) Another term almost over, and head teacher Karen Fisher sat back in her chair to reflect just how well the term had gone. Both her daughters, Bex and Jess, had been saved from the clutches of a nasty pornographer and son Harry seems to be over his own “issues;” the teacher who’d been caught having an affair with one of her pupils was safely on bail and awaiting trial (and motherhood); Tom Clarkson is healing nicely and is over his agoraphobia; a nasty racist incident was swiftly dealt with; Waterloo Road’s first openly gay couple are doing very well; no-one died; and, most importantly, exam results are improving, single sex classes are working, and there’s the end-of-term gender-bending pantomime to look forward to!

You could forgive her for cracking open a Bacardi Breezer and toasting a job well done, but, as devoted Waterloo Road watchers will know, the end of term is not the time to relax. It tends to be the time when Something Dreadful Happens.

It usually happens in front of a visiting dignitary as well, so perhaps it was a mistake inviting the chair of governors along to the panto. It was certainly a mistake casting Kyle Stack as Cinderfella. He may have all the dance moves (how Holly Kenny kept a straight face when George Sampson was required to execute a “seductive” body-popping routine in front of her I don’t know), but his greatest skill is in winding up Finn Sharkey. Hence the panto didn’t go at all to plan, what with Finn and Kyle going toe-to-toe over the lovely Sambuca, Kyle being dumped from the production and Sam going all “you’re not a real man” at understudy Finn during the actual performance, when she was meant to be falling for the blinged-up prince.

Jonah (you didn’t think I’d forgotten him, did you?) used the panto chaos to escape from the school and rendezvous with Cesca to head for a wedding at Gretna Green. Chris Mead almost managed to stop them, but Cesca persuaded him to wait a crucial few minutes before calling the police: “We love each other and we want to be together – is that so wrong?” “Technically, yes,” said Chris, wearing his best sorrowful “Don’t do dis” expression. Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Cesca and Jonah – the secret is out!

(Series 6, Ep.19) The thing with Jonah Kirby is, one minute he looks like quite a plausible boyfriend for a 20-something year old teacher (saving her from scary dogs, being a lovely shoulder to cry on after a hard day, being ever so supportive generally and a bit of a hunk). Then the next minute he’s kicking a football against the wall, or scrapping with his mates, and he’s just a seventeen year-old schoolboy again.

The Jonah/Cesca romance has been interesting in that it’s seemed to be a perfectly mutual, completely genuine thing – no coercion, no power games, just a mature young man and an immature older woman getting together against the odds. Proper Romeo and Juliet stuff. Except that we knew it couldn’t last, and we knew that Cesca was very much in the wrong in letting her heart rule her head and take her into a taboo relationship with someone who was supposed to be in her care. “No-one was hurt!” she protested to Karen after everything unravelled this week. On the contrary, Karen told her, Jonah has been hurt.

He only started to understand the extent of this in this episode, as he realised that taking his girlfriend on cosy camping trips with his dad and his sister is never likely to be an option. That he may never have the glittering career that everyone predicted for Waterloo Road’s star pupil as he has to leave school early and get a McJob to support his imminent offspring. Ronan told him that Cesca looks like a woman who appreciates the finer things in life and wouldn’t find life on the dole with Jonah all that attractive. Though PLA Jr pointed out that Cesca’s mobile phone is rubbish so maybe she’s willing to settle for reduced circumstances after all.

So, considering they’ve been ever so discreet and only ever had sex in cupboards and the art room in broad daylight, how did the secret romance become public knowledge? Well, it was mainly due to that famous lack of discretion, and Chris Mead having a diploma in body language. He can spot the difference between people discussing Spanish homework and a lovers’ tiff even through a fire door. Add this to Jonah’s odd behaviour generally, and Cesca’s shock resignation (she told Karen her father had had a heart attack and she was going back to Spain, when in fact she was bound for Gretna Green and a quickie wedding with Rochdale’s most eligible schoolboy). Chris got the final proof he needed when Cesca fell off a ladder and went to hospital for a check-up, and Chris pulled back the cubicle curtain to find her in a clinch with Jonah, and after that it was a short step to Jonah’s father and the police being called and Karen wearing her very best “I’m so disappointed in you” expression (though she always seems to be smiling at the same time, which undermines it somewhat). Continue reading


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