Tag Archives: Sharlene Whyte

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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Waterloo Road: The Ronan Burley collection

(Series 6, Ep.18) It was nice to see attention shift away from the Fisher family and on to one of my favourite Waterloo Road characters, the magnificent Ronan Burley. I love Ronan. He’s a cheeky chancer, always looking for a money-making opportunity (which quite often fails) and he’s a show-off, witness his marvellous striptease in the school uniform debate. But he also has a more serious side – facing up to his bullying criminal of a father, or being responsible about contraception.

This week Ronan showed a flair for makeup and fashion design, in a bid to capture the heart of Vicky McDonald. Ok, so she snogged him last week, but this week an apparently more tempting prize appeared in the form of Ronan’s work mentor Dan, played by hunky Will Mellor. A series of misunderstandings, mainly by Vicky and Adanna Lawal, who is turning out to be every bit as pious as Pious Kim Campbell, led to Dan being accused of taking advantage of a schoolgirl. Dan, however, said quite firmly that he “doesn’t date children,” which makes him quite rare among the adult population of Waterloo Road these days.

While Dan had been busy entertaining Vicky with an innocent pizza and a glass of wine (Wine? During a school day? Dan hadn’t wanted to appear “tight” when Vicky said she always liked a glass of wine with her lunch), Ronan was back at school fashioning a piece of haute couture out of a tartan picnic blanket. He wanted Vicky to have something to wear for the fashion show, little realising that she was already wearing a nasty-looking red halter-neck frock that Dan had given her. Ronan’s blanket dress was actually quite stylish, and I expect Stella McCartney was sitting at home with her sketchpad on her knee, scribbling away furtively.

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Waterloo Road: It’s back – the school that puts the fun into dysfunctional

(Series 6, Ep.11) Waterloo Road is back, in all its barking mad, brilliant, award-winning splendour. And, as usual at the start of (half) term, there are some new faces.

Pious Kim Campbell has been replaced by one Adanna Lawal (Sharlene Whyte). She’s suitably qualified for the job of head of pastoral care, as she was previously head of the Dumping Ground in Tracy Beaker, so she knows a thing or two about problem kids. She’s not pious like Kim, but she’s every bit as stubborn and enjoys contradicting and undermining Karen Fisher and Chris Mead.

Discipline, Janeece-style

This week she was attempting to undermine their latest Controversial New Initiative, which was single-sex classes. In this she was warmly supported by Ruby Fry, who can’t maintain discipline at the best of times and only managed to control a class of year 8 boys by drafting in the splendid Janeece to shout at them in their own language.

Ruby’s pre-Janeece attempt to interest a class of boys in cookery went disastrously wrong when a fight broke out between new boy Kyle Stack (Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson) and last year’s bad boy Finn Sharkey. As it all descended into a food fight, Ruby tried to make the boys stay and clear up the mess, but they headed for the exit anyway as soon as the bell went. “Come here!” Ruby shouted, uselessly tugging at her flowery (and floury) apron. “You’re all RUBBISH!”

In a programme which has been outstanding for the quality of its young actors, George Sampson absolutely holds his own. Kyle is the archetypal misunderstood, dragged-up loser who’s fallen through the cracks of every system. “School’s no use for the job I want,” he says. What is the job he wants? “Drug dealing,” he reckons, though you sense a lot of it is bluster and there’s a sensitive kid underneath. This is confirmed when his beloved Rottweiler Manic is taken away to be destroyed, after Kyle uses him to scare Karen’s daughter Bex, who has falsely accused him of sexually assaulting her. His little face when they took the dog away was so sad – if they ever want to remake Kes, they need go no further than George Sampson for the Billy Casper role.

On the subject of Bex (Sarah-Lou from Corrie), it was her first day back at school following her two year “lost weekend” when no-one knew where she was.  And she was getting mysterious texts, phone calls and flower deliveries from someone called “Hodge,” which was making her really upset. As usual, Karen failed to notice what was going on with her daughter. Karen calls this “giving her the space she needs.” When finally forced to acknowledge that something was wrong apart from back-to-school nerves, Karen sat Bex down for a mother-daughter chat, but Bex refused to say anything about when she was missing. “If I told you, you’d never want to see me again,” she said. But it looks like it will all come out anyway before series end, as a mysterious stranger was lurking in the darkness outside the Fisher home.

Other hints of storylines to come came from Jonah rescuing Spanish teacher Ms Montoya from the nasty dog. There’s definitely a frisson between these two (Ms Montoya and Jonah, not Ms Montoya and the dog).

And Lovely Josh Stevenson would appear to have a new gay mate whose name is Nate. Finn’s not going to be happy.

Posted by PLA              (more Waterloo Road here)


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