BBC Waterloo Road Wiki
Grantly Budgen
Grantly Budgen.jpg
Portrayed by Philip Martin Brown
First Appearance Series 1 Episode 1
Last Appearance Series 9 Episode 6 (Grantly's Perfect Poetry)
Cause/Reason Died of Kidney Failure
Died 2013
Occupation English Teacher
Head of English (s.1-4)
Acting Head of English (s.7)
Housemaster (s.8-9)
Head of Year 12 (s.8)
Union Rep
Spouse(s) Fleur Budgen (Deceased)
Maggie Budgen

Grantly F. Budgen (1954 - 2013) was the Head of English at Waterloo Road, and was good friends with colleagues Tom Clarkson & Steph Haydock. He was best known for his grumpy attitude, his sarcastic wit, and the various insults he gave towards some of his students.

Curmudgeonly and cynical, Grantly frequently voices objections to the school's management and acts as the staff's union representative. Although known to be lazy in the classroom, over time his dedication to the school becomes apparent. He is also devoted to his wife Fleur until her death, after which he begins a relationship with Maggie Croft and agrees to join her to run the school house in Scotland.

Grantly develops kidney failure and spends a number of weeks in a coma before returning home to convalesce. On his return to the school, he learns a new kidney donor has been found for him but dies before the operation can take place.

He was played by Philip Martin Brown.


Throughout his teaching career, Grantly was best known for his grumpy attitude towards his students, insulting them on a regular basis. He called two students with dyslexia thick, and also got angry towards a student with high functioning aspergers, who hit Grantly with a chair as a result. He was also somewhat homophobic, loathing gay pornography and referring to it as "disgusting stuff".

Grantly budgen.jpg

A relic of the English department and nearing retirement age, Grantly has had many years to perfect his cynical disenchantment with the teaching profession. He’s slightly scruffy, tired and lacks conviction about anything, especially since he failed to write the novel he’s always believed he had inside him. He’s sarcastic but is often witty with it and his asides in the staff room often prompt a giggle from his colleagues. He always has the pub in mind and a bad thought for either Andrew Treneman's high standards, Karen Fisher's low standards or the iron rule Rachel Mason and Michael Byrne tried to bring to the school.

Despite his grumpy personality, he has made many friends including long-standing colleague Tom Clarkson, the appalling French teacher Steph Haydock, and the firm and intolerant Ruby Fry. The little respect he shows for the pupils in the school he makes up for in the love he shows his two wives, Fleur and Maggie. He has old-fashioned values and believes marriage should be forever.

He is also a slave to gambling, which almost caused him to get sacked. But nevertheless, Grantly returned fighting fit and raring to go. While his lack of enthusiasm is often taken into account, he does sometimes show signs of affection to pupils especially Harley Taylor and Rhiannon Salt.

Series 1 & 2

Grantly calls Rory Brears' magazines "disgusting stuff".

Grantly is the Head of English and is respected by many of the staff, It was revealed in Episode 1 of Series 1 that he applied for the role of Deputy Headteacher but was succeeded by Andrew Treneman. When Rory Brears, a gay pupil, began to be bullied by Lewis Seddon, Grantly told him that he won't get bullied if he doesn't inform others of his sexuality. Later on, Grantly notices Lewis and some friends of his laughing about Rory Brears' gay magazines, and tells them to hand them over. Lewis jokingly says that the pages are stuck together. During a meeting with Jack Rimmer and Rory, Grantly asks Jack if he's seen what's in the magazines, and Rory responds by mockingly saying "have a good look, did you?". Furious at the suggestion of him liking the magazines, Grantly responded with "at that disgusting stuff?". Jack tells Grantly that he'll deal with the Rory situation and Grantly leaves the room.

Roger Aspinall was bullied by Grantly during his time at Waterloo Road. When Roger became Sponsor Governor, he suspended Grantly and Andrew as Acting Head made the decision to offer Lorna Dickey the role of Acting Head of English. But after Andrew told Roger he was not capable of being in the role of Head, Roger offered the job back to Jack and stated his first action as Headteacher was to reinstate Grantly as Head of English.

Grantly fell asleep on the job on some occasions. After drinking heavily over one lunchtime Grantly fell asleep during a lesson, and Brett Aspinall took this opportunity to write 'Prat' on his forehead.

Series 3

Karla Bentham hits Grantly with a chair.

Karla Bentham, a pupil with Asperger syndrome answered back to Grantly, due to her literal interpretation of his words. Grantly was unaware of how to respond to her, and became angry with her. Karla became frightened and hit him with a chair.

In Episode 20 of Series Three, a representative from the Exam Board met with Grantly as it was found out by the Exam Board that several pupils had cheated on their English Coursework, including Chlo Grainger and Maxine Barlow. At first Grantly tried to hide the truth from Headteacher, Rachel Mason. However, the Exam Board Rep pursued Rachel and Eddie Lawson, Deputy Head, about the matter. A meeting with all the English Teachers was called in the Staffroom. This brought to light that Grantly had cancelled Coursework Moderation Meetings and off-loaded his marking to fellow colleagues in his department. Rachel then suspended him pending a full investigation, leaving Tom Clarkson as Acting Head of English.

Grantly's wig.

Series 4

At the beginning of Series 4, Grantly took to wearing a wig that was very obviously false to both staff and students. He soon stopped wearing it. In Series 4 Episode 1 he interviewed for the role of Head of Extended Services but didn't get the job.

Dave, a security guard, mistakingly believes that Grantly and Steph are having an affair and tells Fleur. This almost ends Fleur and Grantly's marriage, though they eventually get back together after Fleur realises it wasn't true.

Grantly saves Bolton Smilie's life.

Later in the series, Grantly appeared to suffer a heart attack after diving into a swimming pool to save Bolton Smilie's life after some horseplay involving Bolton, Paul Langley, Philip Ryan and Michaela White went awry. Jasmine Koreshi felt guilty about the incident as previously the same day she had compiled a dossier about Grantly's misconduct. She offers to take his workload which he immediately accepts. His wife, Fleur later appears and gives Jasmine his gallstones medication. Jasmine humiliates him in front of the staff room as payback for and returns his workload.

Series 5

It was revealed at the start of Series 5 that after the merge with John Fosters, a new staffing structure was inplace and Grantly was no longer Head of English with Tom heading up the department.

Grantly writes a story about the teachers but using different names. He gets caught for it and after he is caught, he is shouted at by Kim Campbell for letting out Bianka Vale with her dad, Gary when Rachel knows that Gary has to take Bianka with supervision.

Grantly bets Rachel £20 that she cannot teach Rubys Fry's Food Technology Year 8 group and handle the running of the school at the same time. However, after being proved wrong, Grantly later hands over the money.

Series 6

In Series 6, it is revealed that Grantly is struggling to look after Fleur, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Due to the pressure of looking after his wife, it is revealed that Grantly has taught the wrong syllabus to his classes. He reveals the truth about his wife to Ruby Fry who then calls in former teacher Steph Haydock to help out Grantly. He finally decides to place Fleur in a care home, only to learn that the cost will leave him almost penniless. His idea to raise money is to claim the insurance on his house, but Steph later talks him out of it and through the help of Karen Fisher and Ruth Kirby, the money raised at a charity event at school is given to Grantly to make sure Fleur can attend the care home.

Series 7

In series 7, Episode 10, the new headteacher, Michael Byrne, takes doors off all the classrooms, which makes Grantly angry. Grantly makes a door of cardboard, which Michael rips apart when he finds it. Grantly then gets his door back from a skip outside, but Michael notices him and some other teachers sneaking out. Grantly then goes on strike, leaving Janeece, Tom, Michael, Sian and Daniel the only staff in school. Tom breaks the news that all the staff on strike could lose their jobs. Matt then walks back into school. Finally, Michael succumbs to Grantly's demands.

Grantly then proves how he would do anything for his wife when he resigns his post to spend their anniversary together despite the fact Fleur know longer knew who he was. After 'kidnapping' her and taking her away to the place they had their honeymoon, Grantly realises that he has lost his wife forever and after a kind word from Tom, who had managed to track them down, he reluctantly returns her to her care-home. It was then when, on her deathbed, Fleur's memory returned to her and they spent their last moments together reminiscing about the past. It was then when Grantly's relationship with Maggie started. The canteen assistant he had met through a business partnership in Candora Cosmetics comforted him after Fleur's death, and Grantly realised that life held more opportunities for him with her. When Waterloo Road Rochdale was closed, Grantly and Maggie decide to move up to Scotland with Michael and the others, and soon after they were married.

Series 8 and 9

Grantly and Harley Taylor.

Grantly is diagnosed with chronic kidney failure due to untreated high blood pressure and is told that he will need a transplant to survive as the effects are irreversible. Students and staff alike were heart-broken to hear the news that Grantly might be dying of kidney failure. While asleep, Grantly slips into unconsciousness and is rushed to hospital, where he is put onto life support. Tom tells Maggie that he will gladly be Grantly's donor. When Grantly is taken off life support, Maggie, Tom, Harley and Rhiannon are all stunned to learn that he is breathing on his own. Grantly is let out of hospital in the final episode of series 8, though has to stay in a wheelchair. Grantly is upset to learn that Tom will be giving him his kidney, but accepts the idea. There is devastation when Tom dies after falling from the roof whilst trying to save pupil Kyle Stack, and Grantly leads a memorial service in honour for his friend.

Grantly returns to teach at Waterloo Road after some time off work, where Maggie delightfully tells him that there is a donor waiting for him. Grantly postpones it though, as he is trying to find Harley's poem and help new friend Sue Spark with discipline. During an assembly, Grantly sadly dies in his chair after twenty-nine years of service to Waterloo Road, leaving Maggie and the rest of the students and staff devastated.


Mr Budgen Classroom door.jpg
  • 1997-2012: 3 Egerton Crescent, Rochdale
  • 2012-2013: 8 Willard Road, Greenock (school house).


  • Grantly is the longest serving character, appearing in 154 episodes of the first 9 series. He sadly died at the end of Series 9 Episode 6 as a result of kidney failure. He appeared in photographs in Series 9 Episode 7 at his funeral and Series 10 Episode 18 in a photo with Maggie in the wreckage of her car which was crashed by Dale Jackson.
  • Grantly is one of only three characters to have appeared in more than 100 episodes. The other two characters are Tom Clarkson and Janeece Bryant.
  • His voice can be heard at the very end of the final episode, where he says: "I turned up for a weeks cover and ended up staying 25 years." This quote was from series 5. This quote was also the last line ever said. Other characters' voices at the end of the final episode include: Vaughan Fitzgerald, Chlo Grainger, Max Tyler, Finn Sharkey, Kim Campbell, Gabriella Wark, Barry Barry, George Windsor and Carol Barry.
  • Grantly is only credited as a recurring character in series 1 and 2. From series 3 until his departure he was credited as a main character.


"Oi!" (first line)

"Have you taken leave of your senses?!" (To Tom after Lorna announced in the staffroom that Tom & Izzie were having an affair)

  • Grantly: In my class, we don't talk over a reading.
  • Karla: Well that's a lie, because he's talking now.
  • Grantly: Excuse me? I thought I just heard you call me a liar?
  • Karla: Because you've been saying we shouldn't talk, and you've been talking.
  • Grantly: Oh, and that makes me a liar?
  • Karla: Yes.
  • Grantly: WHO in God's name do you think you are?! Explain yourself.

  • Jasmine: "Look Grantly if you've got a problem with my teaching just say!"
  • Grantly: "Lets just say you are to teaching to what lockjaw is to conversation."

"Oh, stop being a big girl's blouse and try acting like a proper lad for once in your life." (to Rory Brears)

"High functioning? What, in karate?"

"I don't believe you're paid to think. In fact, at this moment I can't remember what you are paid for."

"The government, long ago, decided in its infinite wisdom that all Year 9 students have to sit these. Personally, I think it's a monumental waste of time."

"Michaela, can you play gangsta rap on flute?"

"Not bad for a science teacher." (After Chris punches Max)

"God almighty, we'll be doing the hokey cokey next."

"I sometimes wonder if you women keep your common sense on your handbags too."

  • Kim: Grantly, I'm surprised.
  • Grantly: About what?
  • Kim: You're not dead!

"What were you gonna do Smilie? Turn em inside out? Or were you gonna go commando?"

  • Grantly: Well, last day of term! Yes! And traditionally we play games and watch videos!
  • Ronan & Madi: Yes!!
  • Grantly: Right, Criticism Questions from last years A-Level. 45 Minutes. No talking.

"I was doing this job when you were making your way down a falopian tube."

"I hate everyone, but I hate them all equally."

"And the countdown to teen pregnancy and messy divorce starts now."

"Brothers and sisters, I have come to join the struggle."

"When exactly did the lunatics start taking over the asylum?"

"Better go break the habit of a lifetime and prepare a lesson."

"Ah, welcome to the gulag. There's a shovel over there."

"These are not symptoms of depression, these are symptoms of being a teacher."

(To Chris about Steph) "She'll be taking you for a happy meal next."

"For you by Harley Taylor." (last line)

"I turned up for a week's cover and ended up staying 25 years." (final line of the final episode)