Chelsee Healey discusses her exit storyline, Strictly Come Dancing and why she'll always love her Waterloo Road (Thursday, BBC1) alter ego, Janeece... What can you tell us about your final episode? "Janeece leaves her baby daughter, Cheryl, home on her own so she can do some work for the school's benefactor, Lorraine Donnegan. And Chalky (Waterloo Road’s maths teacher, played by Mark Benton) reports her to Social Services!" Is this why she decides to leave? "Partly, but there's also a whole situation with Chalky - they kind of get together! Janeece has been going through a few problems recently and she doesn't really know what she wants. All these problems mount and she realises she needs some time out, so she leaves with Cheryl to visit her mother, who lives abroad." Janeece will probably never win any mother-of-the-year awards! "No, although she does everything for Cheryl, she just doesn't go about it the best way! She leaves Cheryl home alone because she wants to impress Lorraine (Daniela Denby-Ashe) and in her mind that's OK, because she's making money to support Cheryl." Why did you decide to leave Waterloo Road now? "I felt I needed to. I've been there for six years and it was time to do different things. Of course I was sad to leave, I've grown up with Waterloo Road and have some great memories. It's been a big part of my life. I miss everyone, especially Mark Benton. We got on really well and became great friends." The door has been left open. Would you return? "I'd never say never! A lot of fans want to know if I'm like Janeece in real life, and I'm not going to lie, we're quite similar! But we're not exactly the same. Although we have the same sense of humour, Janeece does things without thinking. Working on Waterloo Road was an amazing experience and something I'll never forget. I'm proud to have been in it." You were runner-up in last year's Strictly. Did that change anything for you? "Strictly changed a lot of things. A lot more people know who I am in a good way, which is lovely. The whole experience was magical, something I'll never forget."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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