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Filming starts for BBC drama Ralph & Katie

Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy as Ralph and Katie
Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy as Ralph and Katie Image credit: radiotimes.com

A spin-off of BBC’s popular drama The A Word has started filming around Manchester and the Lake District.

Ralph & Katie will see six episodes each with its own compact storyline following the challenges the couple face - "issues faced by all newlyweds, but with an added ingredient in the mix being that the couple have Downs syndrome".

The new series sees Lee Harrop and Sarah Gordy returning to the roles of Ralph and Katie Wilson with familiar faces Pooky Quesnel as Ralph's mum Louise, Nigel Betts and Sherry Baines as Katie's parents Steve and Clare, and Matt Greenwood as Tom.

There are also a handful of new characters joining the cast, Craig Cash plays Brian, Dylan Brady as Dan, Jamie Marie Leary taking the role as Emma and Sam Retford playing Gary.

The A Word writer, Peter Bowker, told RadioTimes.com: 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.” 

BAFTA-winning series director Hogg, who is himself disabled, added: "We're embarking on something that's never been attempted in our industry, we're changing the world."

Ralph & Katie will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year.