Warm-hearted family drama The A Word is set to return to our screens this autumn.

The BBC series was a hit with viewers when it first aired early in 2016, so it was welcome news when the announcement came that it had been renewed for a second series.

[Read more: Meet the cast of The A Word series 2]

Find out all we know so far about where life takes the Hughes family next, including when the new episodes will be aired.

When does The A Word air?

The second series of The A Word premieres on BBC One on Tuesdays at 9pm.

Episode 2 preview and spoilers

As a parent, how do you know if the decisions you make for your child are right? If your child can't always express his own feelings, how do you even go about making the decisions in the first place? These questions hang over Paul and Alison as Joe starts his first day at a specialist school in Manchester. For a boy who finds change the hardest thing of all, life is changing utterly - and Paul and Alison are unprepared for how Joe reacts.

They are also unprepared for how they feel. As Alison wonders about her role as a mum, Paul is exposed to questions that unsettle him. Will Joe forever be labelled? Will his future be like that of Sophie's autistic son Mark who, at 16, is struggling to cope? In the past, Paul and Alison would have told each other what they were feeling. Now, tellingly, they don't. Could this be the first indication that they are pulling apart?

[Read more: Christopher Eccleston hits out at lack of diversity on TV]

Also facing an uncertain future is Maurice. Having appointed Ralph as his new brewery assistant, he gets it in the neck from Louise who is adamant her son shouldn't be working for him. Maurice demands to know why. When Louise finally tells him the truth, it knocks Maurice sideways.

Meanwhile, Vincent is determined to relight Nicola and Eddie's fires, to atone for his own marital misdemeanours. And James warns Rebecca that he's not going to get stuck with her family - and if she wants a life of her own, she shouldn't get stuck with them either.

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What happens in the new series?

If you haven’t seen The A Word before, or just need your memory refreshing, the storyline started with six-year-old Joe Hughes being diagnosed with autism.

His parents Paul and Alison had seen nothing unusual in his obsession with music which saw him constantly wearing a pair of headphones, so they were blindsided by the news.

The Hughes had considered themselves to be just like any other family until Joe’s diagnosis, but then they realised that they would have to learn to talk to each other in order to be able to help their son communicate.

[Read more: Why Christopher Eccleston is proud of The A Word]

In series two, the story picks up two years on from the end of the last episode and as Joe gets older he starts to realise that he is a little different and struggles to fit with the world around him.

Writer and creator Peter Bowker said: “'Autistic' is a word Joe has heard but can’t yet understand. 'Different' is what he feels, and fears it might be something bad. It’s up to the whole family to help Joe make sense of who he is and his place in the world. But to do that, they must first be honest about themselves…”

Of course, that could be a big ask of the Hughes and Scott families, as fans of the programme will know.

Who is in the cast?

Max Vento returns in the lead role of Joe after winning over viewers with his debut TV role in the first series.

The Replacement star Morven Christie and Our Zoo’s Lee Ingleby will be back as Joe’s parents Alison and Paul, while Molly Wright plays Joe’s sister Rebecca, who feels pushed out by all of the attention on her brother.

Former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston also returns as Joe’s grandfather Maurice Scott, and reprising their roles as the little boy’s uncle and aunt are Greg McHugh and Vinette Robinson.

The second season of The A Word will premiere on BBC One on Tuesday November 7th at 9pm.

Catch up on series 1 now on the BBC iPlayer app.

[Read more: Morven Christie - The A Word interview]