Actor and comedian Jason Manford will join the cast of Waterloo Road when it returns for a new series later this year, the BBC has announced.

Manford will play Steve Savage, the school’s new headteacher, and he’ll have a big impact on the staff and pupils but not before ruffling a few feathers along the way.

The BBC said Manford’s new role as headteacher will leave viewers questioning what will happen to current headteacher Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin) but the broadcaster isn’t giving anything away yet.

Steve Savage’s son Billy also makes an appearance in the next series as one of the new students.

Waterloo Road’s current series launched in full on BBC iPlayer and finished its weekly run on BBC One this week.

Manford is set to appear in the next series of the show which will come to BBC One and iPlayer later this year.

He said: "What an absolute treat it is to join the cast and crew of Waterloo Road, right here in my home city of Manchester. My kids and I binged the show on iPlayer during lockdown.

"It’s such a brilliant, iconic show, so I’m dead proud to now be part of its history. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher and now becoming a headteacher, I know I would have been terrible!"

Viewers "couldn’t be more excited" to see Jason Manford join Waterloo Road cast

Viewers took to X, formerly Twitter, to reply to the video post of the announcement and were thrilled at the new addition to the cast.

One said: “OMG! I couldn’t be more EXCITED if you are the new headteacher at Waterloo Road. Can’t wait for the next series … bring it on!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!”

Another said: “Ah fantastic!!! Look forward to watching the next chapter x”

The addition of Jason Manford to the cast as headteacher has also left some viewers confused with one saying: “Interesting but I though joe (James Baxter) was going to be the new head as that was implied in the end of series 13”.

Another said: “What’s happening to Angela Griffin then!?”

A third said: “I hope Kim and Andrew come back”.

Cameron Roach, Executive Producer of Waterloo Road and Founder of Rope Ladder Fiction, said: "We're thrilled that Jason Manford is joining Waterloo Road, as the show returns for a fourth series since returning to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

“Jason is a phenomenal comic actor, and has fully embraced the tone and spirit of the show, we can't wait for the audience to meet Steve Savage and his son Billy.

“As with all of our adult cast, Jason has been an inspiring and approachable mentor to our younger cast and crew; we love that a new generation of Northern talent are able to learn their craft alongside brilliant household names.

Recommended reading:

“The legacy of Waterloo Road goes from strength to strength."

Manford isn’t the only new cast member to join the series though as a new teacher and students are making an appearance.

Also joining Waterloo Road in the next series is Saira Choudhry (No Offence, Life) as Nisha Chandra, Waterloo Road's newest maths teacher, alongside a host of new students: Olly Rhodes (The Last Kingdom) as Billy Savage, Nathan Wood as Boz Osbourne, Sonya Nisa (Damsel) as Aleena Qureshi, Miya Ocego (Wreck) as Lois Taylor-Brown, Danny Murphy (The Parts You Lose) as Luca Smith and Matthew Khan (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder) as Jared Jones.