William Ash: Chris sacrifices his career for Scout

William Ash: Chris sacrifices his career for Scout
William Ash: Chris sacrifices his career for Scout (Image credit: Shed Productions)

William Ash reveals it's the end of the line for Waterloo Road>'s Deputy Head Chris Mead in the series finale on BBC One on Wednesday, July 6... How does Chris feel when he realises he must contact Social Services and tell them Scout and Liam's mother has abandoned them? "Chris is under pressure from all sides and feels completely under the cosh. He doesn't want to walk away and leave Scout and Liam to the authorities. But he also doesn't want to throw his career away. It's a real Catch-22 situation for him." Scout runs away with Liam just as Karen's under inspection and the school faces closure. What does Chris do? "He chooses to go after Scout and Liam, as he's afraid something really bad could happen to them. He ends up having to choose between helping them or his career, and he sacrifices his career!" But why? "He has an epiphany and realises he can no longer be just a teacher. He's got to do something else where he can get more involved. Teaching isn't enough for him." Do his actions have consequences for Karen? "Yes. He completely lets her down and she's disappointed he deceived her. But by this stage he thinks it's completely worth it, as he knows Scout and Liam are going to be OK. And it's life-changing for him, too." Does he leave under a cloud? "No. There's a clearing of the air between Karen and Chris. She doesn't sack him - he decides to leave himself. It's a hard decision for him to make, but Karen respects and agrees with his choice. There's a lot of mutual respect between them." How would you describe the change in Chris since he first joined Waterloo Road? "Chris left a high-powered job in the city, where he was earning a lot of money, because he had this craving to become a teacher. He ended up enjoying teaching much more than he ever thought he would. It was a big change for him! It's had a massive effect on him and made him realise he doesn't want to be a teacher because he wants to do more." What was behind your decision to leave the show? "I wanted a fresh challenge - and it turns out that fresh challenge is the dole queue! Only joking. I really enjoyed being on Waterloo Road, I've had a great time and made good friends. I wanted to leave while I was still really enjoying it. And I knew it was time to do something else." What's next for you? "I've done an episode of Shameless where I play a character called Jesus. I'm also about to start doing a play in the Globe over the next few months where I'm also playing Jesus. I've been typecast!"

Patrick McLennan

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.