Interview with Jo Coffey who plays Wendy Whitwell in Waterloo Road



About Wendy Whitwell

Wendy Whitwell is the loyal secretary, trusted friend and confidante to Kim Campbell. Nothing is too much trouble for Wendy. She’s unflappable, has seen it all and takes everything in her stride. She handles her heavy workload with ease and without complaint, knowing that she, unlike Kim, can leave it all behind on her desk when she heads home for the night.

Jo Coffey Q&A

Welcome to Waterloo Road! How excited were you to join the cast this series?

Oh, ridiculously excited, like ‘beside myself’ excited. I was incredibly surprised and shocked to be given the role of Wendy, so I was absolutely ecstatic to be part of the team, and it's brilliant as well. It’s really good fun.

Tell us about your character Wendy.

Wendy is the school PA to Kim Campbell and she is basically a force of nature. She's the all-seeing eye of Waterloo Road, so nothing goes under her radar. Basically, she sees everything, knows everything, and she knows everything that everyone's up to. I'd say you just don't cross Wendy.

You play Kim’s PA, what was it like working with Angela on set?

Oh amazing. Angela Griffin is basically as lovely as she looks like on TV, but actually nicer. She's just amazing and obviously because she's an amazing actress as well, she knows so much and has so much knowledge. It was brilliant for me because this is my first big thing, so it was really good for Angela to look out for me a little bit and tell me what to do, because I was a bit of a rabbit in headlights for the first couple of shows. Like, I’d go what are they talking about? And she'd always make sure that we got shots. She’s just a good egg.

Were there any funny moments on set that you can tell us about?

I can tell you about something on the way to filming recently. So I've got a mobility scooter in the show, which helps me get around the school. Obviously, I'd have that if I worked in this job. The other day I just drove it into the wall. I just smashed it into a wall, by mistake. I was trying to drive it one-handedly, I was being a bit cocky and had a cup of tea in one hand, it was 6:15/6:45 in the morning, I pressed the wrong thing, smashed into a wall, threw the tea off and did a full-on Tom Cruise roll off the scooter. Luckily it was only Susie from costume that saw that. It was embarrassing.

Tell us what your school days were like?

School for me was brilliant, but I was really naughty (laughs) I was awful. Oh maybe not naughty, I just found everything so funny and that must be so irritating when you're trying to teach a class. When the person in the front row just cannot hold up for laughing to the point that they have to be sometimes escorted out of the classroom because they find the whole thing just so ridiculously funny. So yeah, it was brilliant. I had a really good time and made some amazing friends but yeah, I didn’t really do much.


Waterloo Road returns for a new term on Tuesday, January 3 2023.

The highly anticipated first episode will air at 8 pm on BBC One after EastEnders.

The classroom drama will also be repeated on BBC Three on Friday, January 6 at 7 pm.

The new series consists of seven episodes and will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Source BBC One

January 3, 2023 5:00am ET by BBC One  


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