16/03/2012 06:12 GMT | Updated 16/03/2012 06:16 GMT

'EastEnders' Star Laurie Brett Heads Back To School After Joining 'Waterloo Road' Cast

Former EastEnders star Laurie Brett, who played Ian Beale's long-suffering wife Jane, is heading back to school after joining the cast of Waterloo Road.

The soap star has switched the square for the classroom and will play Scotland-born Christine Mulgrew, an English teacher appointed by headmaster Michael Byrne (Alec Newman) when he sets up the new school in the eighth series of the BBC One drama.

Laurie Brett said in a statement: “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.”

And Cameron Roach, Head of Drama for Shed Productions & Executive Producer, said: “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.”

Brett made her last EastEnders appearance in January but will compete in this year's Let's Dance for Sport Relief final later this month.

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