Belfast Telegraph

School's out for Waterloo Road

BBC drama Waterloo Road is to be axed following a 10th series after "reaching the end of its life cycle".

The programme, set in a school, was launched in 2006 and has featured stars such as Denise Welch, Chelsee Healey and Angela Griffin among its cast.

Announcing the end of the show, BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said it was "important to make room for new dramas".

The programme survived a move of filming locations when it uprooted from its original home in Rochdale, Lancashire, to head to Greenock in Scotland.

A further 20 episodes are still to be screened with half in the autumn and the remainder next year.

The BBC is understood to be working on a new drama to launch in the same 8pm time slot.

Moore said the BBC was " incredibly proud" of the show but went on: "W e believe it has reached the end of its life cycle and won't be returning after series 10 finishes in 2015.

"On BBC One it's important to make room for new drama and we are committed to commissioning new drama series for 8pm. There are some really exciting ideas currently in development but nothing to confirm yet."

Donalda MacKinnon, the head of programmes for BBC Scotland, said one of the reasons for moving the production was to boost drama production skills in the area, adding that the original commitment to 50 hours of programming was increased by 20 hours.

"It's always sad when any long-running show comes to an end and I know the Waterloo Road team will miss Greenock - as will fans of the show.

"Our firm aim now, however, is to use that to continue growing the TV and the wider creative sector here in Scotland, utilising the increased skill base arising from Waterloo Road to build up future home-grown culturally representative output."

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