BBC Raw have released a fantastic interview from Autistic film maker Gerard Groves as he talks to the man who inspired him to be a film maker. Christopher Eccleston is well known to Whovians as the ninth Doctor and is one of the stars of tonight’s new BBC drama, The A Word. The six part show written by Peter Bowker looks at family as they come to terms with their six years old diagnosis.

Doctor Who fan Gerard Groves is a BBC apprentice with Aspergers Syndrome who recently had the chance to talk to Eccleston about autism, The A Word and of course Doctor Who. Eccleston and Groves talk about Eccleston’s first go at playing a grandad and his character Maurice who has no idea about his grandson’s condition.

Groves shares his life experience with the ex-Time Lord about living with Aspergers, talking frankly and openly. To which Eccleston thanks him and expresses his admiration for how bright Groves is to talk and reflect back on how he behaves.

Talk though soon turns to Doctor Who as Groves reveals that Eccleston was ‘his’ Doctor and it was the show that opened things for him to become a film maker. Clearly touched with the praise, Eccleston says “You were one of mine’.

Enjoy this touching and frank interview.

Episode one of ‘The A Word’ featuring Christoper Eccleston (Doctor Who), Morven Christie (Grantchester) and Lee Inglby (Our Zoo) premieres tonight on BBC One at 9 pm.

Eccleston plays grandad Maurice Scott, part of the troubled Hughes family in Peter Bowker’s adaptation of Keren Margalit’s award-winning Israeli drama. The story of an aspirational family that is like many others until six-year-old Joe is diagnosed with autism. 

The A Word is executive produced for Fifty Fathoms by Patrick Spence, Peter Bowker and Jenny Frayn, and by Sara Johnson and Avi Nir for Keshet. Lucy Richer will executive produce for BBC One. 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).Paul and Alison Hughes are building a life for themselves and their children; Rebecca (Alison’s teenage daughter) and five-year-old Joe. Joining the family are Paul’s brother Eddie and his wife Nicola, who have moved from London to save their troubled marriage.


Written by Peter Bowker, Director Peter Cattaneo, Producer Marcus Wilson

Maurice…Christopher Eccleston
Alison……Morven Christie
Paul………Lee Ingleby
Joe………..Max Vento
Eddie…….Greg McHugh
Nicola……Vinette Robinson


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