FILMING has begun in Cumbria for the third series of the hit BBC One drama The A Word.

The family drama - set in the Lake District and stars Christopher Eccleston, Lee Ingleby, and Morven Christie - was watched by millions during its first and second series, which aired in 2016 and 2017.

In the third series, former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh and Call the Midwife star Sarah Gordy will join the show.

Production crews kicked off filming for the new series in the county and in Manchester earlier this week.

The new series is set two years on, with a very different situation for the Hughes family.

The main character, Joe, is 10 and living in two places at once, processing the seismic change in his life through the filter of his autism.

Alison and Paul are divorced and live 100 miles apart. Nicola has moved to London, and Eddie lives with his dad.

Rebecca has just realised she’s pregnant and only Maurice is holding it together.

Writer of the show, 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 BBC One 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.”

For the second series, Thirlmere was one of the county locations used for filming.

Runners from local clubs became extras during filming of a fictional fell race.

The BBC didn't confirm when the third series will air on BBC One.