Waterloo Road star Katie Griffiths has said the show will return with a “big bang” and will discuss the daily struggles people are facing in Britain.
The award-winning BBC drama about a comprehensive school has been rebooted eight years after its original run ended in 2015.
A number of familiar faces are reprising their roles, with Griffiths returning as Chlo Grainger and Adam Thomas as her teenage sweetheart Donte Charles.
Appearing on the BBC’s The One Show on Tuesday, Griffiths said: “We’re coming back with a classic Waterloo Road big bang, there’s going to be lots of topics discussed.
“There’s mental health discussed, there’s child homelessness, cost-of-living crisis, all of these terrible struggles that people are facing on a daily basis.
“So it’s going to have a lot of drama, it’s going to be a lot of highs, lows and everything in between in classic Waterloo Road style.”
Thomas said the show’s willingness to delve into these real-life issues which people can relate to is why he feels people love it.
However, the pair assured viewers that the storylines will not be all “doom and gloom” and that there will be fun plot points throughout the series.
Their characters Chlo and Donte were married at the end of their last season, with the new series picking up on them later in life as parents.
“You meet them at a time when there’s a lot going on. They’re at different crossroads with their careers and things,” Griffiths revealed.
“They’ve now got two kids. There’s a lot of stuff happening so I think there’s going to be a lot of interest in their development as a family unit.”
The drama, set and made in Greater Manchester, also follows life at a comprehensive school with parents and teachers learning to navigate the ever-changing social landscape, with topics such as racism, sexism and LGBTQ+ to be discussed.
The reboot is part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.
It also comes after the original series, which ran for 10 seasons from 2006 to 2015, garnered new audiences after the boxset was released on BBC iPlayer in September 2019.
Thomas said they were not aware at first of the show’s resurgence in popularity and revealed he was getting confused about why fans had started calling him Donte Charles all of a sudden.
The new series will also be a family affair for Thomas as his real-life niece Scarlett and his own son Teddy will play his children in the show.
He said: “I’m just so lucky to work with my family and to be in a show that started my career and get to go back with them and start their career.
“It’s amazing just watching them grow and the performances that they give out throughout the series are just incredible.”
The new series will also see original cast member Angela Griffin return to the show as Kim Campbell, who is now headteacher of the school.
Actress and Strictly Come Dancing star Kym Marsh will step into the role of Nicky Walters.
Waterloo Road returns on BBC One and iPlayer on Tuesdays from January 3.