Recommended second chance
From pupil to school secretary, ditzy Janeece Bryant has had a long association with Waterloo Road. But as she walks out of the school gates for the final time, Chelsee Healey, who plays her, talks about her decision to leave, what the future holds and why she can no longer watch Strictly Come Dancing…
Was your final scene on Waterloo Road an emotional one for you?
Yes it was because I have been at Waterloo Road for six years and the storyline was an emotional one, too. At the end of the day I thought, ‘Gosh, I’m done.’
Did you receive a leaving present?
I got some lovely flowers and a bottle of champagne and the cast and crew and producers all said their goodbyes. It was really lovely.
It must have been a big decision for you to leave such a big show. What were your reasons for leaving?
I had been there for so long — six years — and I wanted the opportunity to do something else and have a bit of a challenge. Even though I have adored playing Janeece — I’ve grown up playing her — it’s time for me to try something else.
So what are you doing at the moment?
I’ve been learning my lines and rehearsing for a tour of The Vagina Monologues, which I'm in through to the end of October. But I don’t know what the future holds after that.
You were a revelation in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing. Would you like to do more dancing?
I would love to do something that involves acting and dancing. I was devastated when my time on Strictly ended. It has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’m still gutted it’s over.
Were you surprised to have reached the final with your dance partner, Pasha Kovalev?
Definitely. I thought I would be out the first week but to get to the final… I couldn’t believe it.
Were your family proud of you?
Yes, they were all really supportive. They loved the experience as much as I did. My mum came to watch me in every show.
So will you be watching the new series of Strictly Come Dancing?
I can’t bring myself to watch it! I’m too sad that I’m no longer a part of it. How mad is that?
You still live at home with your mum and step dad in Eccles, near Manchester. Any thoughts of getting a place of your own?
I would like my own place in London so that I had some independence. Maybe in the New Year.
You had been dating Bristol Rovers footballer Oliver Norburn, but it’s rumoured you split up in June. Is this true?
Yes. I’m single.