Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

‘The A Word’ spin-off, Ralph and Katie, due to begin next week

BBC One image. Still from The A Word Episode #3.5

Ralph and Katie, two characters from the hit BBC One series ‘The A Word’, are set to appear on our screens next week in their very own spin-off show.

The six-part series will follow Ralph and Katie (played by Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy) on their journey as newlyweds.

Both characters have Down’s syndrome, and the series has been written by a team of disabled writers, led by Peter Bowker, who was the lead writer of ‘The A Word’.

What happened in ‘The A Word’?

The A Word follows one family’s journey of discovery following an autism diagnosis. Joe Hughes (played by Max Vento) is a five-year-old boy who has difficulty communicating and consistently isolates himself by listening to music through headphones.

Joe’s parents, Paul (Lee Ingelby) and Alison (Morven Christie), can’t understand why Joe struggles in social situations, and eventually, take him to hospital to find out more. Here, he is referred to a specialist where he is diagnosed as autistic.

The three-part series follows the family’s journey of understanding and accepting autism, which comes with its own unique challenges.

Near the end of the series, Ralph, who has become part of the extended family, gets married to Katie. The new spin-off series, Ralph and Katie, will follow the domestic challenges faced by the newlyweds, with each 30-minute episode featuring a different story.

“An excellent example of disabled representation on and off screen”

Sarah Gordy, who plays Katie, said: “It is great to be able to take the character of Katie forward after her exciting journey in series three of The A Word. The wedding and the dress were a dream come true for Katie. I am so looking forward to seeing what comes next in Ralph and Katie’s married life.”

Disability campaigners have welcomed the announcement of the new programme, calling it an “excellent example of disabled representation on and off screen”.

Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down’s Syndrome Association, says: “We’re so pleased that Ralph and Katie’s story will be continuing, and that Leon and Sarah, two marvellous actors, are getting this well-deserved opportunity to play the central characters in a BBC drama.”

Ralph and Katie will air at 9pm on BBC One from 5th October. You can watch the trailer here.

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