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