Ralph & Katie – BBC announce filming on The A Word spin-off

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The show will follow the newlyweds through their domestic challenges. 

After three series of The A Word, the drama which chronicles the life of a family with an autistic son, the BBC have announced the start of filming on a spin-off show: Ralph & Katie will follow the the newlyweds last seen getting married in the show’s third series.

The new show promises to look at the “…issues faced by all newlyweds, but with an added ingredient in the mix being that the couple have Down’s syndrome”.

Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy return to their roles as Ralph and Katie Wilson. So too does Pooky Quesnel as Ralph’s mother Louise, and Nigel Betts and Sherry Baines who play Katie’s parents. Additionally, Matt Greenwood will return as Tom.

In the wider cast, Craig Cash (The Royle Family), Dylan Brady, Jamie Marie Leary, Sam Retford (Screw) and Daniel Cerqueira (Pennyworth) will also appear.

The show will film both in the Lake District and in Manchester.

Sadly, for Doctor Who fans, there’s no suggestion so far of any appearances from Christopher Eccleston, who plays Louise’s boyfriend Maurice Scott on The A Word. However, Maurice is a character he has played multiple times, a rarity for the actor, so anything’s possible.


Ralph & Katie is created by Peter Bowker, the lead writer of The A Word. Via the BBC Writersroom he has assembled a team of new and emerging disabled writers to work on the show; Amy Trigg, Annalisa Dinnella, Genevieve Barr, Tom Wentworth and Lizzie Watson. Bowker said:

“The writing team have delivered a series of scripts that are full of joy, humour and authenticity. It will be exciting to see the wonderful cast bring them to life under the direction of the force of nature that is Jordan Hogg.”

In a drive to encourage more inclusivity, the show is collaborating with DANC Triple C (The Disabled Artists Networking Community). DANC will facilitate behind-the-scenes access to the show for deaf, disabled, autistic and neurodivergent talent in the North West.

The show’s Bafta-winning director Jordan Hogg (Screw), who is himself disabled says, “We’re embarking on something that’s never been attempted in our industry, we’re changing the world “

Ralph & Katie will run for six 30-minute episodes, and should arrive on BBC One and iPlayer later in the year. We’ll keep you posted.