Lucy Dixon, who plays outspoken Waterloo Road pupil Danielle Harker in the new series, tells us of the danger her character gets into this week... How would you describe your character Danielle? "Very bubbly, outspoken and confident almost to the point of being cocky. She would be able to argue that black was white. She and her friend Aleesha are quite stuck up and they spend time getting up to trouble and being really cheeky. She's fun to play." What happens to Danielle in this week's episode? "She comes into school after drinking the night before with Aleesha. Aleesha can handle her drink but Danielle can't and comes into school half in uniform and half dressed in what she was wearing the night before, her make-up's all over her face and her hair's a right state." And she doesn't stop consuming alcohol there, does she? "No, some of the boys get some ethanol from the science room and she downs it while they only had a sip of it. She ends up collapsing and as a result of that she bangs her head and is knocked unconscious - it's just one bad thing after another and it spirals from there really." How does the episode portray the whole experience? "It really shows the bad part of drinking. My aim was not to make it look like she was having fun - I wanted to show the danger of drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. She has a really terrible time. Danielle learns the hard way and I hope people learn from it. I don't want anyone who watches it to go through what my character goes through." Was it hard to play someone so drunk? "Yeah it was. When I saw the script I was really excited as it was something to really get my teeth into and also an opportunity for the audience to see another side to you. I was also nervous as I needed people to believe what I'm doing and the state I'm in. It's easy to make it look fake and silly and I really had to focus on it." What do you hope people get from this episode? "I hope people never make the mistake she makes and parents watching with their teenagers will say "look at that, you don't want to be in that state because that's a horrible state to be in". I can imagine it's awful and very scary." Waterloo Road continues on BBC1 at 8pm on Wednesday.
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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.