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WATCH: Interview with The A Word writer Peter Bowker ‘Why we filmed in the Lake District’

BBC One drama The A Word sought to portray the Lake District as the “ideal place to raise a child”, according to writer Peter Bowker.

The critically acclaimed BBC One show, which has won plaudits for its portrayal of autism, is back for a third series tonight.

Speaking in an interview released today, writer Peter Bowker said they wanted to show that the landscapes of Manchester and the Lake District were “in a way similar”.

“The Lakes is a great landscape because not only is it beautiful, it’s not picture box beautiful, it’s a working environment.

“We always wanted something where it would look like the ideal place to raise a child, but once you had a child who was vulnerable or needed access to services it would become less sympathetic.”

It was also a chance to sow the contrast of between living in the city and the countryside.

“What we tried to do in this third series is favour Joe’s point of view more, especially in terms of moving from city to countryside,” Peter said. “The first director was very keen to get shots from Joe’s perspective.

“It’s simultaneously magnificent and intimidating and for him [Joe] it’s about where his mum is now in Manchester and where his dad is now back in the Lakes.”

The Stockport-born writer added that it was “nice being in Manchester”.

Meanwhile, the two year gap between series meant that they could show Joe going to school.

“We’ve cast the wonderful Julie Hesmondhalgh – a Manchester legend – as his teacher in the specialist school, which we film in Manchester.

“Her relationship with Joe, played by the young lad Max is extraordinary. I knew she was great anyway but my God she really inhabits it.

“The head teacher at the school where we film said ‘I’d give her a job here tomorrow’.”

The A Word airs on BBC One at 9pm tonight. It will be available afterwards on iPlayer.

Peter was speaking at a preview screening of new series at The Lowry Theatre on Salford Quays, on March 2.

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