William Ash has revealed that he decided to leave BBC1 school based series Waterloo Road because he was afraid he would no longer enjoy playing the role of deputy head teacher Chris Mead. The actor will leave our screens next week after the first part of the seventh series ends. Speaking to TV Week, Ash revealed that Chris decides to end his career in order to protect student Jodie ''Scout'' Allen and her little brother Liam who have been abandoned by their mother.
He revealed: ''Chris is under pressure from all sides and feels completely under the cosh. He doesn't want to walk away and leave Scout and Liam to the authorities, But he also doesn't want to throw his career away. It's a real catch-22 situation for him.''
William added: ''He chooses to go after Scout and Liam, as he's afraid something really bad could happen to them. He ends up having to choose between helping them or his career, and he sacrifices his career!'' Revealing why his alter-ego takes the surprising actions, William explained: ''He has an epiphany and realises he can no longer be just a teacher. He's got to do something else where he can get more involved. Teaching isn't enough for him."
Speaking about why he decided to leave the show, he added: ''I wanted a fresh challenge - and it turns out that fresh challenge is the dole queue! Only joking. I really enjoyed being on Waterloo Road, I've had a great time and made good friends. I wanted to leave while I was still really enjoying it. And I knew it was time to do something else."
The 34-year-old actor will exit the show next week alongside head teacher Karen Fisher (Amanda Burton), her daughter Jess Fisher (Linzey Cocker), site manager Rob Scotcher (Robson Green) and Rob's son Aiden Scotcher (Oliver Lee). It is expected that Harry Fisher (Ceallach Spellman) will also leave the show. Characters confirmed to be definitely returning for the second part of the seventh series due to air later this year include secretary Janeece Bryant (Chelsee Healey), Maths teacher Daniel Chalk (Mark Benton) and English teacher Grantly Budgen (Phillip Martin Brown). A number of new characters will join the show including teachers Jez and Sian Diamond (Alex Walkinshaw and Jaye Jacobs).