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'Waterloo Road' Alec Newman: 'The show has been life-changing'

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Waterloo Road's Alec Newman has revealed that the show will "always hold a special place" in his heart.

The actor - who joined the series in 2011 as head teacher Michael Byrne - will leave the show at the end of the current series.

Laurie Brett and Alec Newman in Waterloo Road

© BBC / Shed Productions (WR)

Alec Newman with co-star Laurie Brett



Newman told The Daily Record that his "life has changed considerably" since joining the long-running BBC series.

Newman will depart alongside original cast members Tom Clarkson (Jason Done) and Grantly Budgen (Philip Martin Brown).

He said: "My life has changed considerably and Waterloo Road will always hold a special place in my heart. It has been a huge thing for me.

"In fact, meeting my future wife and the whole homecoming element will probably have a much longer-lasting effect than anything connected to the work.

"I am grateful to everybody involved for allowing me to be a part of such a gigantic piece of television. That's not flattery - anything nowadays which gets three or four million viewers is a big deal."

Michael Byrne, Barry Barry and Tom Clarkson in Waterloo Road

© BBC / Shed Productions (WR)



Newman joined the show when it was filmed in Rochdale and was a part of the series during its move across the border into Scotland.

The 38-year-old said the move allowed him to rediscover the place he spent his youth.

"I was not aware the show was coming to Scotland. When I joined, we were based in Rochdale and living in Manchester.

"Most of my youth was not spent in Scotland, albeit with an exclusively Glaswegian family. I feel like I have properly discovered where I come from and joined up all the dots. I will always be grateful to Waterloo Road for allowing me to do that," the actor added.

Newman said that Michael has been a "superb character to play" and will leave in a fashion "consistent with the way he arrived".

He revealed: "The way he leaves makes it easy to imagine him existing somewhere else outside the show.

"It's not an unsensational exit but, in keeping with the character, it's more about logistics and personality clashes than car crashes or him turning out to be a prostitute or a spy for MI6."

Waterloo Road continues on Thursday (May 9) at 8pm on BBC One. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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