A spin-off of The A Word and a con-artist thriller from Chernobyl producer Sister are two of the latest dramas ordered by British public broadcaster the BBC.
Both projects will air on flagship network BBC One but what is more remarkable about the pair of orders is that both involve emerging writers and in the case of The A Word spin-off, disabled writers.
Ralph and Katie focuses on two of the characters from Peter Bowker’s The A Word.
The series follows Ralph, played by Leon Harrop, and Katie, played Sarah Gordy, as they embark on the biggest adventure of their lives, having just had the wedding of the year. Each 30-minute episode features a different story focusing on the domestic challenges faced by the newlyweds – challenges faced by all newlyweds, but with the added fact that they have Down’s Syndrome.
Written by Bowker with new and emerging disabled writers, the six-part series is produced by ITV Studios and Keshet Productions in association with Tiger Aspect. Bowker exec produces alongside Patrick Spence and Kat Pugsley (ITV Studios), Howard Burch (Keshet Productions) and Lucy Richer (BBC), alongside Avi Nir (Keshet Media Group), and Keren Margalit.
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.”
Separately, Sister is making The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies for BBC One. The series comes from graphic novel writers Penelope Skinner and Ginny Skinner
The six-part series tell the story of two very different women and the conman they have in common
Alice is a formidable PA, a single mother, and a lifelong Madonna fan. Caroline is a bestselling fantasy author who, recently bereaved, now lives alone with her toy poodle, Goblin. Rob is an eccentric and celebrated ‘ecopreneur’, who may or may not be trying to destroy them both.
Created and written by Penelope Skinner and Ginny Skinner, who exec produce alongside Sister’s Naomi de Pear and Katie Carpenter and Jo McClellan for the BBC.
“In a world where convicted conmen become overnight cultural icons, bypassing blame on their way to fame, we have been inspired to fight back against the glorification of the predator. We want to tell a story about the real heroes of any scam: those who risk everything to call out the perpetrators. We are overjoyed to be working with the formidable team at Sister and are delighted the show has found its home at the BBC,” said Penelope and Ginny Skinner.
Both series were commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.
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