The A Word re­turns, and Bradley Walsh leaves a life of crime

TV Times - - My Tv Week - Re­becca Ma­honey

christo­pher ec­cle­ston on why he’s thrilled to re­turn as grandad Mau­rice in the sec­ond se­ries of the hit drama

Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston is de­lighted to be repris­ing his role as grandfather Mau­rice for the muchan­tic­i­pated sec­ond se­ries of BBC1’S ground­break­ing drama The A Word.

‘Mau­rice is a gift of a char­ac­ter,’ says Christo­pher, 53. ‘I love play­ing him be­cause I’d never re­ally been asked to do com­edy be­fore, and there’s a strong comedic el­e­ment to his char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion.

‘I’ve re­ally en­joyed try­ing to un­der­stand that side of act­ing, which I think is wrong­fully put sec­ond to play­ing Ham­let. I think do­ing com­edy is harder than play­ing Ham­let.’

The first run of The A Word, which aired in March 2016, won uni­ver­sal acclaim for the touch­ing and re­al­is­tic way it fol­lowed par­ents Paul and Ali­son Hughes (Line of

Duty star Lee In­gleby and Grantch­ester’s Mor­ven Christie) af­ter their five-year-old son Joe (Max Vento) was di­ag­nosed with autism.

The six new episodes, filmed again on lo­ca­tion in the Lake Dis­trict, will pick up the fam­ily’s story two years on and Max, now seven, is find­ing that he doesn’t fit into the world around him. ‘We think it’s go­ing to air in Oc­to­ber; we wrapped film­ing ear­lier this month,’ re­veals Christo­pher, cur­rently on our screens as Rev­erend Matt Jami­son in the third se­ries of HBO drama The Leftovers on Sky At­lantic.

‘The cen­tral idea of the drama is com­mu­ni­ca­tion, but writer Peter Bowker isn’t soap­box and so he has made autism a re­al­ity, as is de­men­tia. Those two things are very cur­rent for fam­i­lies and

fam­i­lies get on with it, they don’t break down, they get stronger be­cause of prob­lems like the ones ex­pe­ri­enced by Max.’

The sec­ond se­ries will also see Mol­lie Wright re­turn as Joe’s older half-sis­ter Re­becca along with Greg Mchugh and Vinette Robin­son as Ali­son’s brother Ed­die and his wife Ni­cola.

Be­yond words: Mau­rice and the Hughes clan are re­turn­ing to BBC1

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