The A Word series three to start filming with ex-Corrie favourite Julie Hesmondhalgh joining the cast

BBC1 hit about to begin shooting in the Lake District and Manchester

Former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh will join the cast of The A Word for series three of the BBC1 drama.

The Beeb announced that filming is about to start on the family drama, which will see Max Vento (Joe), Morven Christie (Alison), Lee Ingleby (Paul), Molly Wright (Rebecca), Pooky Quesnel (Louise), Leon Harrop (Ralph), Greg McHugh (Eddie), and Christopher Eccleston (Maurice) all return.

Julie, who played Hayley Cropper in Corrie and more recently appeared in Broadchurch, is among the new faces joining the Peter Bowker penned series.

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Set two years on, Joe is now ten and living in two places at once, processing the massive changes in his life through the filter of autism.

Alison and Paul are divorced and living miles part, while Rebecca has just discovered she’s pregnant, and Maurice is the one holding it together.

Peter Bowker said: “It is a joy to be revisiting the world of the A Word, to move the story of the Hughes family on, and to have the opportunity to expand our celebration and examination of diversity and humanity in all its myriad forms.

“The BBC has been incredibly supportive of this show and deserve our thanks and support at a time when it continues to be attacked on behalf of the ignorant by those who should know better.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama added: “The A Word has become a firm favourite with the BBC1 audience telling a unique and poignant story in an original and entertaining way.

“We are excited filming has now begun on a third series and look forward to picking up with Joe and the family two years on and seeing what challenges and adventures lay ahead for them.”

Filming on series three of The A Word starts this week in the Lake District and Manchester. The BBC is yet to announce when the new series will be screened.