|“||You've done your time here. You've changed from the young hothead who smashed the telly and ran off with his dad, to the person that Dexter came looking to for help.||”|
Bailey 'Bail' Wharton was a fictional character on The Dumping Ground, who first appeared in the Series 2 episode entitled Kick Off. He got dumped in care due to complications with his father Jimmy Wharton, who would often leave him for weeks on end unsupervised.
During his time at Ashdene Ridge, Bailey suffered instances of bullying and racism, which were some of his most integral story lines.
Bailey has made lots of friends and enemies in his years in care. He is similar to Tracy Beaker in a wide variety of ways, particularly their fiery personalities. They both have also made frenemies, who they ultimately become civil with upon their departures (Johnny Taylor and Justine Littlewood, respectively)
Series 5 saw the departure of Bailey, as he went to the USA to take part in a football coaching programme.
Bailey was portrayed by Kasey McKellar throughout his entire run on the show.
Before being placed into the care system, Bailey lived with his dad in a flat. He was a member of a football team and aspired to be a professional footballer for Liverpool or Real Madrid. One day, his father vanished, leaving Bailey on his own. About a week or so later, a neighbour reported Bailey to social services after Bailey had an incident with the toaster which caused a fire. He was unhurt, but he was taken to Ashdene Ridge until his father could be located. Bailey's mum, Alison, abandoned his and Jimmy when Bailey was just a toddler. Bailey's dad was heartbroken about this and resorted to burning any photographs with her in them.
Bailey arrived at Ashdene Ridge right at the start of Series 2. When he arrived, he was portrayed as a gobby, stuck-up boy who had little regard for others. He quickly became an enemy of many of the other house members, particularly Johnny Taylor and Carmen Howle.
The other house members dislike for him only grew when he trashed the living room in a violent spur after being delayed from going to his football match. Bailey hastily ran out of the house after trashing the room, where he was spotted by Faith. He ran away despite Faith calling out to him, which resulted in him indirectly causing Faith to get hit by a car.
After more incidents involving him running off with his father and going missing, Bailey was eventually brought back to the DG all thanks to Jody, who went out of her way to find Bailey and bring him back where he belongs.
This series was also the series in which we discovered that Bailey is dyslexic, hindering his skills to read and write. Bailey had further complications with other aspects of his life throughout the season, particularly in his conflicts with Johnny and a struggle against the racist comments of his former football coach.
At the start of Series 3, Bailey was shown desperately trying to be fostered by a potential couple during the first episode of the series, Party Games. However, his attempts went south when the couple's true intentions behind their fostering attempts were revealed.
Bailey also adopted a dog called Mischief during this series, who used to belong to a homeless man that Bailey had a quarrel with. Bailey felt that it was his duty to look after Mischief, and as of such fought tirelessly to keep the dog in his care.
This series also featured the end of Bailey's conflict with Johnny Taylor, as well as his attempts to win tickets to a Wembley match in the episode, Better Than You.
Series 4 opened with a two-part story arc featuring Bailey. A woman showed up at Ashdene Ridge claiming to be Bailey's mother, though this turned out to be false and caused an emotional rollercoaster for Bailey. Despite this, the situation did manage to bring Bailey and his father back together again after a while apart, helping to mend their fractured relationship.
Throughout this series, Bailey was there for most of the integral moments, though no other plot lines specifically featured around him for the rest of the series.
Series 5 saw the departure of Bailey from Ashdene Ridge after he received the opportunity to go to a football coaching programme in America, which he took on shortly after helping out Sasha's younger brother, Dexter.
Bailey was initially portrayed as a hot-headed, ignorant and selfish boy who had little to no regard for others. He instantly struck up rivalries with numerous members of the house, though most if not all of those have now been resolved. As he grew, Bailey developed into an understanding and brave young man who showed little to no fear when it came to helping others.
Bailey has an avid passion for football, which often takes up a lot of his attention. He often becomes obsessive when it comes to the sport, which can often lead to conflicts with other members of the house.
Bailey has also been shown to have a sensitive side, though it is a side of himself that he often prefers to conceal from others.
- Football - Bailey is a highly skilled football player, and has even been to numerous trials to show off his skills. He also played on a team throughout most of his time at the DG and even beforehand, highlighting his experience and skill for the sport.
- Drawing - Bailey is a very good drawer, as seen drawing a sketched Ferris wheel in the episode, I Have A Dream
- Bailey shares numerous similarities with Elektra Perkins:
- Both instantly struck up rivalries with fellow members of the household upon their arrivals.
- They share confrontational and hot-headed personalities that they both eventually grow out of.