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“EastEnders” actress Laurie Brett (aka Jane in EastEnders) is to join the cast of BBC One’s eighth series of “Waterloo Road” when it relocates to Scotland to start filming next month from its current Rochdale home.

Laurie will star as Christine Mulgrew, who joins the English department as one of the new teachers appointed by headmaster Michael Byrne (played by Alec Newman) when he sets up a new school in Scotland.

Laurie Brett says: “I am thrilled to be joining Waterloo Road. I have watched it on and off from the start as my good friend Jill Halfpenny was in the first series. The character I will be playing is such a complex woman, with many issues, and it will be a real departure from what people are used to seeing me do. Not least because for the first time in my career I will be working in my native accent which I am really excited about.”

The show will be filmed and edited on location at the former Greenock Academy school building which has been transformed into the new Waterloo Road set and production base.

Cameron Roach, Head of Drama for Shed Productions & Executive Producer, Waterloo Road, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Laurie to Waterloo Road fresh from her success with EastEnders. Making her mark as Christine, a new recruit for Michael Byrne, Laurie’s character is an exciting addition to our brilliant ensemble and will ensure that Waterloo Road makes some noise as it lands on Scottish turf.”

Gaynor Holmes, Acting Head of Drama, BBC Scotland and BBC Executive Producer, Waterloo Road, adds: “Laurie is a fantastic new addition to our incredible cast and we’re sure the audience are going to love watching her character, Christine, unfold on screen. It’s great to see Waterloo Road going from strength to strength, continuing its reputation for attracting popular, stellar acting talent, always telling gripping stories”.

Filming begins in April on an initial 50 one-hour episode commission, to be filmed over two years.