Ralph's dad Doug The A Word

Who is Ralph’s dad Doug in The A Word and why did he leave Louise?

Ralph hasn't seen his father in more than ten years

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The A Word is about to introduce a new character – Ralph’s dad, Doug.

In tonight’s episode (June 2), he turns up for the first time in years after hearing his son is getting married to Katie.

But who is Doug and why did he leave Ralph and Louise in The A Word?

Here’s everything you need to know…

Ralph's dad Doug in The A Word
Doug is Ralph’s estranged father in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

Who is Ralph’s dad Doug in The A Word?

Ralph (Ian Puleston-Davies) is a builder who was married to Louise (Pooky Quesnel) once upon a time.

However, they split when Ralph (Leon Harrop) was a teenager.

When the couple decided to separate, he left town and never once came back to see his son.

READ MORE: Does Max Vento have autism in real life? 

He’s been away for so long that Doug doesn’t even know about Louise’s battle with cancer.

Understandably, she hasn’t exactly painted him in the best light to Maurice (Christopher Ecclestone).

READ MORE: Will there be another series of The A Word and how does season 3 end?

But in this evening’s episode, he turns up wanting to be part of Ralph’s life again and hopes to make up for the past.

While Louise doesn’t exactly give him a warm welcome, will Maurice gives him a chance to tell his side?

Doug and Maurice in The A Word
Doug hopes Maurice will help him put things right in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

Why did Ralph’s dad leave?

Doug struggled after Ralph was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.

However, the story isn’t quite as straight-forward as Louise has let on.

READ MORE: Does Travis Smith have autism in real life? Actor plays Mark Berwick in The A Word

During a heart-to-heart with Maurice, Doug explains that Ralph’s news had a big impact on his relationship with Louise.

She resented him for feeling disappointed about Ralph’s diagnosis.

Ralph Does Maurice die in The A Word? (Credit: BBC)
Ralph hasn’t seen his dad in more than ten years (Credit: BBC)

According to Doug, this created a barrier between them while she developed an increasingly stronger bond with her son.

Eventually, he felt like he had been pushed to the outside and the couple jointly decided that he should leave the family home.

Doug claims he didn’t come back to visit Ralph as he feared confusing his son.

He didn’t want him to think he and Louise were reuniting.

But looking back, he now deeply regrets this decision.

What happens in The A Word tonight?

Doug turns up in the village after Louise writes him a letter revealing Ralph is getting married.

However, the letter wasn’t an invitation and she isn’t happy when he arrives back in town.

It’s been more than ten years since Ralph last saw his dad – how will he react?

READ MORE: Why did Paul and Alison split up in The A Word? A new love interest is on the scene

The following day is Ralph’s wedding – but will all go according to plan?

Elsewhere, Paul (Lee Ingleby) and Sarah’s (Gemma Paige)  relationship grows from strength to strength.

Although, their liberalism is put to the test when Mark (Travis Smith) asks to take Joe (Max Vento) out for an afternoon.

The A Word series three is on BBC One, Tuesdays at 9pm.

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