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. You fought his corner and you didn't quit till he was safe. So, this is your turn now To grab the chance and go where it takes you, the chance to prove what an extraordinary young man you are.

–- Mike to Bailey

Bailey Wharton is a character introduced in The Dumping Ground. He was portrayed by Kasey McKellar.

Bailey Wharton made his first appearance in the opening episode to Series 2 of The Dumping Ground. Bailey's quite a hot headed and competitive person, but this died down a lot as he got older. Bailey has a huge passion for football, and often dreamed of become a professional one day. He grew apart from this after he was rejected for a scholarship in Series 4 and resorted to starting his own pet sitting business. But he re-gained his passion for football in his last episode. It's revealed in the episode "I Have a Dream" that Bailey has Dyslexia, meaning he struggles to read and write. This was when his unlikely close friendship with eccentric Mo Michaels. Bailey also grew to become a dog lover, when he adopted a dog called Mischief after his homeless owner had passed away. Bailey left the Dumping Ground in 2017 to join a football college in America, taking Mischief with him, as he didn't want to leave him behind.



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 Jimmy was heartbroken about this and resorted to burning any photographs with her in them.

The Dumping Ground

Series Two

Bailey was assigned to a social worker named Serjay, and it was he who took him to Ashdene Ridge. On arriving at Ashdene Ridge, Bailey attempted to scarper, only to be rugby tackled by May-Li.

Bailey believed that he would only be left at the Dumping Ground overnight. He did not get on well with the other residents and behaved rudely to the others (such as calling Frank a loser), who in turn treated him rudely. It was here that Johnny's rivalry with Bailey commenced.

On his first night, Bailey attempted to ring his dad to tell him where to pick him up for a football match he was having the following day. Unfortunately, his phone ran out of power. Faith, who was the only person treating Bailey with kindness at that time, offered to let Bailey use her phone.

The following morning, Bailey attempted to go to the football ground on his own after his dad failed to appear. However, he needed to be accompanied by an adult and also needed permission from Serjay. Mike (who said he would take Bailey) attempted to ring Serjay, but failed to get through to him, leaving to Bailey to attempt to make it to the football pitch on his own. This led to a fight with the other Dumping Ground kids in the living room when he tried to leave (which led to the television being smahsed) and Faith (leaving for a morning jog) giving chase, only to be hit by a car. Bailey ran back to the DG to alert the others to Faith's accident and was subsequently prevented from going to the football pitch. As punishment for wrecking the television set, Bailey was to pay for a new one out of his own pocket money.

Matters did not improve for Bailey when Serjay turned up to tell him that Bailey's dad could not be located and thus Bailey was to be left at Ashdene Ridge until further notice. Bailey was annoyed by this and told the other kids to stay out of his way (who in turn were annoyed that he was staying, too).

A week or so later, Bailey's dad, having somehow found out where he was staying, showed up for him to collect him from Ashdene Ridge. Unfortunately, Mr Wharton was told that due to the fact that he had vanished, it would be a while before Bailey could be returned to his custody. Mr Wharton left, apparently accepting the measures that were in place. Not long afterward, Bailey heard stones being thrown at his window and discovered it was dad, who was still on the grounds. Bailey snuck out from the Dumping Ground in secret and left with his dad. However, this was noticed by Frank, who then told the others, who were already conducting a search for him around the house.

Mike contacted social services, only to learn that Bailey and his dad were no longer at their old address. Jody, who had started to feel sorry for Bailey, eventually tracked him down to his new address and eventually to a football stadium where Bailey and his dad were attending a football match. However, Bailey's dad had attempted to sneak in a can of beer, had been caught and was being confronted by security when the DG kids (who had been convinced by Faith to help Bailey) found him. Bailey's dad claimed in front of everyone he had never seen Bailey in his life, prompting an upset Bailey to exit the stadium. However, Jody comforted him and presented him with his football boots that he had left behind at the DG. Bailey then returned to the stadium to watch the game with the other DG kids and returned to Ashdene Ridge with the others.

Weeks later, during Lily's farewell barbecue, Bailey saw Carmen accidentally kick a ball at Johnny's window. Bailey went up to observe the damage, who was then seen by Johnny and was falsely accused of breaking the window and even went as far as to report him to the police. Bailey was acquitted after Carmen finally admitted to what she had done.

When it was discovered that Frank had gone missing, Bailey chastised the other residents for being worried about him, stating that it was possible Frank did not want to be found and he was now a legal adult. When told to keep quiet by Faith, Bailey countered by asking why everyone was not out looking for Frank, which prompted the others to take action.

Later that day, after Frank had been found, Bailey helped Frank, Rick, Faith and Kazima when he told Mike that they might need a bit of help. Bailey was right as Frank's scammers, having discovered they had been scammed themselves, were giving the four pursuit. Luckily, Mike and Bailey both showed up with the minibus in time.

Later that night, Bailey found Frank outside of the bathroom, waiting for Johnny to finish showering. Bailey distracted Frank by making small talk with him and jumped the queue after Johnny had exited the shower.

Bailey took part in the Touch The Telly challenge and was part of the team who wanted to watch football on the television (which by this time had been replaced). Bailey was one of the few who was still touching the television the following morning. However, Bailey got into a disagreement with Johnny, who thought that Bailey was infringing Johnny's space, leading to both of them losing contact with the telly when they shoved each other over, and consequently the other team winning. Ultimately, neither side got to watch the programme they wanted as they all fell asleep in front of the television.

In I Have a Dream, Bailey received a letter, but hesitated to open it, which attracted Mo's curiosity. The same day he received the letter, May-Li sent Bailey with Mo out to buy food for tea. They ended up buying nothing that May-Li as Bailey did not write a list. After returning from shopping, Mo sussed out that the reason Bailey did not open the letter was because he was dyslexic, and offered to read the letter for him. Bailey denied this and refused Mo's help. However, he did later ask for Mo's help, but denied having dyslexia (claiming that he could not read the letter due to untidy handwriting).

It turned out the letter was from Bailey's dad, who had managed to find work at the ferries at Dover. While Mr Wharton was now earning money, it was still not possible for he and Bailey to be reunited.

Bailey decided to enter the story writing contest that May-Li was holding, where the winner would have their story sent off to another story writing contest May-Li had received news of in the post. Bailey decided to write a story based on how he felt after reading the letter, making it about a girl in care. Mo offered to help Bailey by writing the story out on the computer, whilst Bailey dictated it to him.

Bailey won the contest, which Mo read out at the table. However, Mo spoilered the plot, leading everyone else in the house to find out that Mo had written Bailey's story for him. Mo told May-Li that he did it because of Bailey's dyslexia. May-Li then went to speak to Bailey to reassure him that just because he had dyslexia, it did not make him stupid and that there were famous people out there who had dyslexia.

In Sticks and Stones, Bailey attended a football tryout where footballer Viv Anderson was present as a guest. Bailey hogged the ball during the game and despite scoring four goals, the opposition scored five goals and his team lost. Bailey took this in his stride (blaming the defenders), but his mood crashed after his coach said his talent was being wasted on his type and called Bailey a racial slur. Later, after one of Bailey's team mates said that his "type" would not understand how to play in a team, Bailey started a fight with the boy, which led to him being sent home.

Back at the DG, Faith spoke to Bailey (seeing that he was not his usual, cocky self) and discovered that Bailey had been called a racial slur. She convinced him to speak to Mike and May-Li about this. Faith had to tell Mike and May-Li what had happened and Bailey confirmed what everything Faith had said was true. After Mike went off to confront Bailey's football coach, Bailey feared the consequences and told Faith that he regretted telling her what had happened.

The following morning, Bailey was visited by Viv, having met Mike the previous day. He told Bailey that he would be able to do another tryout in a couple of weeks and that if he quit, it meant that the bigots and racists had won, as Viv had experienced this during his career. Having heard this, Bailey agreed to trying out again.

The following week Bailey did indeed receive news that he would have another tryout the following week. On that same day, Bailey had witnessed Johnny tackle a mugger, and took the mickey out of Johnny for falling over the victim's dog. On learning that Johnny wanted to join the army, Bailey said to Johnny that he did not "have the bottle", then after Johnny failed to get parental permission for his application, proceeded to mock Johnny. This led to Bailey being attacked by Tee (using a plant as her weapon).

Series Three

At the Dumping Ground's open day, Bailey noticed that among the visiting families was fottballer Matt Brantston and his wife Stephanie. Bailey believed that if he were fostered by a famous footballer, then this would help to further his own ambition of becoming a footballer. This put him in competition with Carmen, who wanted to be fostered by the couple instead of Bailey. However, Bailey was soon put off by being fostered by the Brantstones after bringing up an incident Matt had got himself into back in 2004.

The following day, Bailey went to use the toilet next to Johnny's bedroom and discovered one of the purses that had gone missing the previous day, which led to him thinking that Johnny had stolen all of the purses and money, unaware Ryan had planted the purse in the toilet tank (where Bailey had found it). Johnny was let off the hook when it was discovered Maude had stolen the purses and money, though she ended up being framed for planting the purse in the toilet..

Series Four

Series Five


Other Relationships

May-Li Wang

Johnny Taylor

Carmen Howle

Jody Jackson

Kazima Tako

Joseph Stubbs


  • Bailey is the first character in the Tracy Beaker franchise known to have Dyslexia.
  • Bailey now lives in America with Mischief.