'Waterloo Road': Actors who had early roles on the BBC show

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It's hard to believe that Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor started out in Waterloo Road in 2009. (Getty Images/BBC)
It's hard to believe that Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor started out in Waterloo Road in 2009. (Getty Images/BBC)

Waterloo Road fans are bracing themselves for the show's return after seven long years off air.

Filming for the highly-anticipated BBC drama is already underway, with some of the show's much-loved characters set to make a comeback.

It's already been announced that favourites Angela Griffin, Adam Thomas, and Katie Griffiths will all be returning for the reboot, and Adam Thomas' real-life niece Scarlett Thomas will be playing his fictional daughter.

Read more: 'Waterloo Road' announces Adam Thomas' niece will join him for comeback cast

The soap is known for casting talented actors who go on to make it big in the TV industry as many British celebrities have had their big break on the show over the years, including stars of Bridgerton and The Walking Dead.

Here are ten big stars that you might not have known started out on the series.

Phoebe Dynevor

Phoebe Dynevor as Siobhan Bailey in Waterloo Road. (BBC)
Phoebe Dynevor as Siobhan Bailey in Waterloo Road. (BBC)

While you'll recognise her as playing Daphne in Netflix's risqué period drama Bridgerton, Phoebe Dynevor actually began her career as a child actress on Waterloo Road from 2009 to 2010.

Years before starring in the second most watched show on the streaming service, Dynevor played pupil Siobhan Mailey in series five, aged just 14.

She featured in scenes alongside Jenna Coleman, star of BBC's true crime series The Serpent, before Dynevor moved onto other projects such as Monroe and The Musketeers.

The 26-year-old Manchester-born actress is the daughter of Coronation Street's Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Metcalfe in the ITV soap, and Emmerdale's scriptwriter Tim Dynevor.

Regé-Jean Page

Regé-Jean Page as the Duke of Hastings in 'Bridgerton'. (Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Regé-Jean Page as the Duke of Hastings in 'Bridgerton'. (Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

Just like his on-screen lover in Bridgerton, actor Regé-Jean Page appeared in Waterloo Road early on in his career.

Before Page gained international stardom as the Duke in the Netflix hit, he played teacher Guy Braxton in the BBC drama's final series from 2014 to 2015.

Though he didn't appear in the show at the same time as his Bridgerton co-star, Regé-Jean Page also appeared on Waterloo Road. (BBC)
Though he didn't appear in the show at the same time as his Bridgerton co-star, Regé-Jean Page also appeared on Waterloo Road. (BBC)

Speaking about his role at the time, Page described Waterloo Road as a "very accessible way into dealing with issues that are happening in the real world."

Read more: 'Bridgerton' season 2 releases new photos - but fans still devastated the Duke has gone

More recently, Page shocked Bridgerton fans when he announced he would not be returning for the show's second series and will focus on other projects instead.

Tom Payne

Tom Payne attending the premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 9 in Los Angeles in September 2018. (Getty Images)
Tom Payne attending the premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 9 in Los Angeles in September 2018. (Getty Images)

Fans of The Walking Dead will recognise actor Tom Payne as playing Paul 'Jesus' Rovia in the award-winning horror series.

But, Payne has humble beginnings having played Brett Aspinall in Waterloo Road from 2007-2008.

Payne appeared in Waterloo Road in series two and three. (BBC)
Payne appeared in Waterloo Road in series two and three. (BBC)

His character was best known for dating Mika Grainger, whom he nearly messed things up with by sleeping with her younger sister Chlo.

Payne seems unrecognisable now with his long hair and facial hair.

Jenna Coleman

Jenna Coleman reprises the title role in the third series of 'Victoria' on ITV. (Credit: ITV)
Jenna Coleman reprises the title role in the third series of 'Victoria' on ITV. (Credit: ITV)

Jenna Coleman's performance in the BBC crime series The Serpent had viewers all shaken up last year.

A familiar face on the BBC, Coleman spent several years on Doctor Who, after first appearing on our screens in Emmerdale in 2005 and playing a leading role in Waterloo Road in 2009.

She played 'hard girl' Lindsay James on the show, known to regularly get into fights with character Michaela White.

Lindsay's most controversial storyline in the show was being found guilty of the murder of her dad.

Read more: The best soap moments of 2021

The character didn't return to the school after being released from jail, causing Coleman's departure from the show after nine intense episodes.

Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas will star in Waterloo Road's new series with his niece. (Getty Images)
Adam Thomas will star in Waterloo Road's new series with his niece. (Getty Images)

Emmerdale star Adam Thomas has confirmed he will be returning to Waterloo Road as a teacher in the autumn, following a 13 year hiatus.

Thomas was a member of the original cast when the show first aired in 2006, where he played troublesome student Donte Charles.

Afterwards, Thomas played the role of Adam Barton in Emmerdale for nearly ten years, from 2009 to 2018 and finished third in I'm A Celeb in 2016.

Speaking about his time on the show back in 2018, Thomas said: "That show has such a special place in my heart, as it was my first regular character role.

"I loved every minute of that series, so getting to see everyone again and getting to work with everyone again would be amazing."

Jack O’Connell

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 18:  Actor Jack O'Connell attends 'Money Monster' premiere at Picasso Tower roof on May 18, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images)
Jack O'Connell attends 'Money Monster' premiere at Picasso Tower roof on May 18, 2016 (Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images)

Skins fans will recognise actor Jack O'Connell as playing James Cook in the irreverent comedy drama.

But, the actor first shot to fame on the set of Waterloo Road in 2007, where he played 15-year-old pupil Dale Baxter.

Dale Baxter was a pupil in series two. (BBC)
Dale Baxter was a pupil in series two. (BBC)

Since then, he's gained critical acclaim for his role as Roy Goode in Netflix's wild west miniseries Godless, and has appeared in many critically acclaimed films including Money Monster, Unbroken, '71, and Starred Up.

You might also recognised him for his roles in the films This Is England, The North Water and Eden Lake.

Matt Healy

Matt Healey is the son of Waterloo Road and Loose Women star Denise Welch. (Getty Images)
Matt Healey is the son of Waterloo Road and Loose Women star Denise Welch. (Getty Images)

One of the most surprising stars on the list is Matt Healy, lead singer of pop rock band The 1975.

Though he wasn't a reoccurring character on the show, Healy did appear as an extra on Waterloo Road in series four.

This gig was most likely thanks to his mum, actor and Loose Women star Denise Welch, who played Steph Haydock between 2006 and 2010.

Katie McGlynn

Strictly Come Dancing -  Katie McGlynn (BBC)
Strictly Come Dancing - Katie McGlynn (BBC)

Manchester-born actress Katie McGlynn is best known for her award-winning performance as Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street.

But, she too became famous on Waterloo Road, when she played Jodie 'Scout' Allen from 2011-2013.

Katie McGlynn's breakthrough role was in Waterloo Road in which she played Jodi
Katie McGlynn's breakthrough role was in Waterloo Road in which she played Jodi "Scout" Allen. (BBC)

She also appeared on last year's series of Strictly Come Dancing and recently had a stint on Hollyoaks.

Chelsee Healey

Chelsee Healey attending the UK Premiere of 'Hummingbird' in 2013. (Getty/WireImage)
Chelsee Healey attending the UK Premiere of 'Hummingbird' in 2013. (Getty/WireImage)

Hollyoaks fans might have forgotten that actress Chelsee Healey first appeared on our TV screens wearing the Waterloo Road uniform.

Healey, 33, plays Goldie McQueen in the Channel 4 soap, but her breakthrough role was playing pupil Janeece Bryant on the BBC show from 2006 to 2012.

Janeece Bryant appeared in the show as a pupil from series one to four and as a teacher from series six to eight. (BBC)
Janeece Bryant appeared in the show as a pupil from series one to four and as a teacher from series six to eight. (BBC)

According to The Sun, she is currently in talks to rejoin her old cast members when the show starts again in the autumn.

Linzey Cocker

Linzey Cocker attending the World Premiere of '4,3,2,1' in London in 2010. (Getty Images/ Wire Image)
Linzey Cocker attending the World Premiere of '4,3,2,1' in London in 2010. (Getty Images/ Wire Image)

Last but not least, we had to mention actress Linzey Cocker, known for her roles in the BBC Three comedy-drama Drop Dead Gorgeous and the teen comedy Wild Child.

She played Jess Fisher in Waterloo Road's sixth and seventh series.

The daughter of the school's head teacher, she got in to trouble for pursuing a relationship with an older man man who didn't know she was still at school.

More recently, Cocker appeared in the Netflix sitcom White Gold, alongside Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick and James Buckley and Joe Thomas from The Inbetweeners.

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