IT’S marvellous to see a programme dedicated to how a family deals with a child’s illness so well-depicted and you do feel that The A Word does just that.

The second series is still compelling and entertaining with quite remarkable performances from young Max Vento as the little boy with autism, Morven Christie and Lee Ingleby as his parents and Christopher Eccleston as Joe’s grandad.

For most of us without first-hand knowledge of the wide array of problems suffered by autistic people, the series really is a revelation. You just marvel at the patience, dedication and love that families and friends consistently offer.The strain on relationships and the constant striving for communication is very believable and The A Word can only go a long way to helping greater general understanding of a complex condition.

Add to that the stunning scenery of the Lake District, where it’s largely filmed, and a glittering array of dramatic and empathetic performances and it’s no wonder that this is very successful Tuesday night viewing.