The A Word -  ©BBC
The A Word – ©BBC

Christopher Eccleston is to star in The A Word, Peter Bowker’s new BBC drama  about a family dealing with autism at the end of March.

Christopher Eccleston, who older readers may remember for playing the Ninth Doctor, is set to play a grandad for the first time in the new drama, which is scheduled to air at the end of March.  Written by Peter Bowker, whose impressive CV includes Blackpool, Occupation and Capital, the six-part drama tells the story of the Hughes family; an aspirational family that is like many others until six-year-old Joe is diagnosed with autism.

Alongside Eccleston, the cast includes Lee Ingleby (Our Zoo), Morven Christie (Grantchester), Greg McHugh (Fresh Meat), Vinette Robinson (Sherlock) and newcomer, six-year-old Max Vento.  It is being directed by the twice Academy-nominated director Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty, Rev) and produced by Marcus Wilson (Doctor Who, Life On Mars).

52-year-old Eccleston plays Maurice, the grandad of the family, but he’s definitely not a pipe-and-slippers type grandad and he’s the first to realise that there may be more to Joe’s behaviour than anyone realises.

The BBC has promised a funny and thought-provoking series about parenthood and childhood. Eccleston himself has said

“I’m very proud to be reunited with writer Peter Bowker on The A Word. This is a special job for us all. We hope the audience take us to their hearts.”

Bowker, who taught children with learning difficulties before becoming a screen writer, has said how pleased he is to be able to make a programme that is funny, tough, realistic and inventive about contemporary family life and autism. Based on his remarkable body of work to date and his uncanny ability to give a voice to modern families, we can’t wait for The A Word to air.

Details about a definite air date to follow.


  1. “Christopher Eccleston, who older readers may remember for playing the Ninth Doctor,…” Oh, oh, oh, we’re so ancient!


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