Popular BBC drama The A Word will get the spin-off treatment after the broadcaster announcer plans for a series based on newlyweds Ralph and Katie - who both have Down’s Syndrome.
The initial show, from the pen of screenwriter Peter Bowker, ran for three seasons and portrayed a family whose son, Joe, has autism.
The newly-commissioned series will see the characters played by actors Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy traversing through the challenges of domestic life as a young, newly-married couple.
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Talking of the role, Gordy, who has previously starred in Call the Midwife and Doctors, 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 was a dream come true for Katie. I am so looking forward to seeing what comes next in Ralph and Katie’s married life.”
The new show will see Bowker continue as writer alongside new and emerging disabled writers.
Bowker said: “Ralph And Katie is a natural step forwards from the ongoing ambition of The A Word to increase representation and diversity both on and off screen.
“Equally exciting is the opportunity to work again with two young actors as talented as Leon and Sarah. It is a tribute to their performances in The A Word that the BBC have commissioned this series.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “After three series of The A Word, we are so excited to see Sarah and Leon lead their own show and by the team of talented writers that Pete and his team are assembling to bring this new chapter in Ralph and Katie’s relationship to life.”
Carol Boys, Chief Executive, Down’s Syndrome Association, said: “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.”
The third series of The A Word aired on BBC One between May and June this year.