Waterloo Road season 11 — release month, first-look photos, cast, plot and everything we know so far

Waterloo Road series 11 - the Waterloo Road logo
The old Waterloo Road logo. (Image credit: BBC)

Waterloo Road season 11 is on its way! After seven years away from our screens, the BBC has decided to bring their beloved school drama back, and we now know that we can expect to see the new school in January 2023.

The award-winning contemporary school show was easily among the best BBC dramas when it was airing. Originally, Waterloo Road was based at a comprehensive school in Rochdale in Greater Manchester before the school relocated to Greenock in Scotland for the final three seasons. It centered on the drama between pupils and the teaching staff who supported them through their time at Waterloo Road school.

The new series is once again set in Manchester and is set to introduce a whole new generation of fans to the award-winning drama. Produced by Cameron Roach (executive producer on the original show) through his new label Rope Ladder Fiction and Wall To Wall (New Tricks, The Windermere Children), the new series is bound to deliver even more of the thrills and spills that so many viewers enjoyed during the original show's 200-episode run.

We were recently treated to a range of new photos from the series, plus we learned that Waterloo Road series 11 would be coming in January. Here's everything we know about the new series right now.

Waterloo Road season 11 release date

Thanks to a recent Waterloo Road update, we knew that the new series would be coming our way in early 2023. However, on Friday, November 25, the BBC finally confirmed that the series would premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in January.

When we get an exact release date, we'll be sure to include it in our guide, so keep checking back! 

The previous release window was confirmed with the below social media clip, featuring the new show logo:

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If you want to revisit the classic series, all ten seasons of the original show are available to stream right now on BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab).

Waterloo Road season 11 - image shows the teaching staff from the previous season of Waterloo Road

The teaching staff from Waterloo Road season 10. (Image credit: BBC)

Waterloo Road season 11 first-look images

On November 25, the BBC teased us with our first proper look at the new series and explained what to expect from the first episode as the new school year begins. By the sounds of things, there's going to plenty of drama from the off!

As you can see from the photos, a peaceful protest at Waterloo Road school has gotten out of hand, and the BBC claims that the events of the day 'will have huge ramifications for everyone involved'. 

Waterloo Road season 11 cast

In January, the BBC revealed that three much-loved Waterloo Road characters would be back for the new series.

Angela Griffin will reprise her role as Kim Campbell, who is returning to Waterloo Road as the school's newest headteacher. 

Speaking about her return as Kim at the Pride of Manchester Awards, Angela told The Daily Star (opens in new tab): "It's bloody brilliant, she's very different this time. What's happened to Kim in the last six years? You'll have to wait to find out when it comes back. 

"She's a different person, definitely, things have happened and it all comes out when we come back", she added.

Adam Thomas and Katie Griffiths are also returning to play Donte and Chlo Charles. They're still together, even though their relationship was anything but smooth whilst they were enrolled at the school as students. 

Chlo Charles (KATIE GRIFFITHS), Izzy Charles (SCARLETT THOMAS), Tommy Charles (ELIJAH BLUE SLATER) & Donte Charles (ADAM THOMAS)

Chlo and Donte's happy family. (Image credit: BBC/Wall To Wall/Rope Ladder Fiction/David Gennard)

When she was first revealed as a returning star, Angela Griffin said: "I feel really honoured to be joining the new series of Waterloo Road. It is exciting to be stepping back into Kim’s shoes and I can’t wait to explore her life, character, and how she has evolved since we last met her. The writers have some amazing storylines planned and I’m looking forward to welcoming viewers back to Waterloo Road."

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We've since learned who else will be taking on roles in the staff room. Kym Marsh— who played Michelle Connor in Coronation Street for 13 years— is playing Nicky Walters, a school canteen worker who is also a mother to two pupils in the show. 

EastEnders star Jo Coffey plays Wendy Whitwell, PA to Headteacher Kim Campbell, and Wonder Woman 1984's Vincent Jerome will play Lindon King, the joint Deputy Headteacher.

Still Open All Hours' James Baxter will play Joe Casey, another Deputy Head, and Coronation Street's Sonia Ibrahim joins as Jamilah Omar, the school’s social worker.

Chip & Kipper's Shauna Shim is music teacher Valerie Chambers, Peep Show star Neil Fitzmaurice is history teacher Neil Guthrie, Corrie's Rachel Leskovac is Coral Walker, Head of English, and Rules of the Game's Katherine Pearce plays Amy Spratt, an early career teacher.

Ex-Corrie star Ryan Clayton is also attached to the show. He revealed the news on Twitter, posting a photo of a sign on his dressing room door that revealed he's playing a character called Mike.

There's also been some speculation over whether former Waterloo Road star Melanie Hill would return to the show. She walked away from her role as Corrie newsagent Cathy Matthews earlier this year, leaving some to wonder whether she'd be back in the show, too (though nothing has been confirmeD). 

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Waterloo Road season 11 pupils

On February 21, the BBC revealed which young actors would be playing the pupils in Waterloo Road season 11.

Scarlett Thomas—Adam Thomas' niece and daughter of former Waterloo Road star, Tina O'Brien— is following in her family's footsteps and playing Donte and Chlo Charles' daughter, Izzy, in the show. 

Scarlett isn't Adam's only relative in the Waterloo Road season 11 cast, either, as Adam Thomas' real-life son had joined due to 'unforeseen circumstances' leading to a last-minute casting change. Teddy Thomas is playing Izzy's younger brother, Tommy.

Joining them are Adam Abbou (Time) as Danny Lewis, Priyasasha Kumari (You Don't Know Me) as Samia Choudhry, Noah Valentine (The Bay) as Preston Walters, Adam Ali (Little America) as Kai Sharif, newcomer Alicia Forde as Kelly-Jo Rafferty and Francesco Piacentini-Smith (Masters of the Air) as Dean Weever.

Also joining the young cast are: Corrie star Liam Scholes as Noel McManus, Lucy Eleanor Begg as Caz Williams, Summer Violet Bird playing Tonya Walters, Ava Flannery as Verity King, Thapelo Ray (Doctors) as Dwanye Jackson, Biff and Chip's Inathi Rozani as Zayne Jackson, and Chiamaka (ChiChi) Ulebor as Shola Aku.

Finally, Sahil Ismailkhil has joined the cast after they were talent-scouted following a production research trip to a school in Leeds.

The pupils of Waterloo Road season 11 gathered during rehearsals.

Waterloo Road's new pupils photographed during rehearsals in 2022. (Image credit: BBC/Paul Husband)

Waterloo Road season 11 plot

Alongside the photos for the new series, the BBC has teased what we can expect from the new series: "Across the term, Waterloo Road’s teachers and parents are going to have to learn on their feet as they try to navigate the ever-changing social landscape - from teen homelessness to the cost of living, being LGBTQ+, racism, sexism, mental health and everything else facing young teens today.

Amongst the chaos, the students, faculty and parents still make time for friendships, fun, and a few romances. The pupils have a lot to contend with this term, but they will learn to lean on one another to survive the year and try to stay out of detention as much as possible. Riots, scandals, fractured families and challenging kids – for Headteacher Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin) and her team, fire-fighting is a way of life. Who said education was easy?"

In the press release announcing Waterloo Road's return, the BBC said: "The spotlight on education in the UK is more intense now than ever before, with awareness of the challenges that teachers, parents and pupils face even more pronounced amidst the ongoing pandemic. 

"Waterloo Road will use its rich history of telling entertaining and gripping human stories while tackling the important issues of the day."

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, added: "Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-Covid Britain, from the perspective of those who have arguably been affected most: young people in education. 

"We are thrilled to be returning to this brilliant format - its thrills and spills, unmissable characters and high drama - at a time when audiences across Britain need it most - and to be collaborating with the brilliant Cameron Roach and Wall To Wall on its return."

Who's directing Waterloo Road season 11?

Recently, we learned that Casualty legend Amanda Mealing would be serving as a director on the new season of Waterloo Road

She revealed the news on Instagram when she shared a photo of her director's lanyard with the caption: "Another city, another day, another dollar."

A post shared by Amanda Mealing (@amanda_mealing) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Is there a trailer?

Beyond that short clip featuring the new show logo, we haven't seen a teaser for the new series of Waterloo Road just yet. As and when one gets released, we'll be sure to include it here. 

In the meantime, you can relive some of Waterloo Road's greatest moments with this video which the BBC released in late 2019 to celebrate the arrival of the box set on BBC iPlayer.