Tues­day The A Word – 9pm, BBC One Sick Note – 10pm, Sky 1

Sunday Herald Life - - TELEVISION & RADIO -

AWELCOME sec­ond se­ries for The A Word, writer Peter Bowker’s warm but spiky drama, about a Lake Dis­trict fam­ily whose re­la­tion­ships come into new fo­cus af­ter they dis­cover the youngest of their brood has autism. Lit­tle Joe (the scene-steal­ing Max Vento) still loves lis­ten­ing end­lessly to dad Paul’s (Lee In­gleby) old post-punk tunes on his head­phones. But he’s seven now and, while his par­ents have learned a lot, the kids at school – and their par­ents – are in­creas­ingly treat­ing him as “dif­fer­ent”. Among a ter­rific cast, Mor­ven Christie digs deeper into her won­der­fully judged per­for­mance as Joe’s mum, and Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston is all old-school bluff and blus­ter as his grandad. Over on Sky, there are prob­lems of a dif­fer­ent sort in Sick Note, a slightly forced black com­edy, with Ru­pert Grint as a man who is di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal can­cer by cack-handed doc­tor Nick Frost. Turns out he’s not dy­ing af­ter all – but he en­joys the spe­cial at­ten­tion he gets so much, he de­cides to keep pre­tend­ing he is. Don John­son co-stars, oddly.

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