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Tuesday 2nd June 2020

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

The A Word is back for series 3

Paul and Alison appear to be over for good in The A Word.

Last series, fans were desperate to see the couple work through their marriage problems.

But fast-forward two years to season three and their troubled relationship is more fractured than ever as they try to co-parent Joe.

Paul and Alison's marriage had been under strain for years in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

Why did Paul and Alison break up?

In The A Word season three, it's confirmed that Paul (Lee Ingleby) was the one who called time on the relationship.

Although it's a choice that disappointed fans, it wasn't exactly a huge shocker.

READ MORE: Who is Ben Chambers in The A Word? Here's why Alison's new love interest looks familiar

The couple's marriage had been under huge strain for years.

Making matters worse, last series, the relationship was put under even more stress when Joe was enrolled into a school in Manchester.

Exhaustingly, this meant that the parents faced a 100-mile school run daily.

Paul made the decision to end the relationship (Credit: BBC)

But Alison was determined to enrol Joe as the school was able to prioritise Joe's special needs.

In season one, it was Alison (Morven Christie) that struggled to come to terms with her son's autism diagnosis.

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

However, the tables turned in season two and it was Paul that was finding Joe's condition hard to accept.

During a night out at a gig in Manchester, Paul got a taste of what life would be like away from the family home – and he seemed to like it.

The couple's relationship seems more fractured than ever in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

So much so, he almost cheated on Alison with waitress Sophie (Lucy Gaskell).

Opening up about the state of Paul and Alison's marriage, Morven warned What's On TV at the time that the situation was a "mess".

READ MORE: Does Maurice die in The A Word? Christopher Eccleston discusses series 3

"Alison hasn’t understood how everything has gone wrong," she said. "It has knocked her for six.

"It’s all connected to how he’s feeling about Joe and Alison struggles to understand that too.

"Paul was the one who was more accepting of Joe while Alison worked hard to reach that point but now he has gone the other way."

The couple's split has a big impact on their son Joe in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

What happens in The A Word tonight?

It's a big day for Joe this evening (May 26).

Alison (Morven Christie) organises a sponsored walk for for his classmates to raise money for the school.

READ MORE: Who is Ben Chambers in The A Word? Here's why Alison's new love interest may look familiar

Planning the event brings gives her a chance to bond with Joe's teacher Heather (Julie Hesmondhalgh).

During a heart-to-heart, the pair begin to open up one another and their conversation leaves Alison contemplating a new career.

Is Paul ready to see Alison move on? (Credit: BBC)

When the big day arrives, the pressure off being centre of attention proves too much for Joe (Max Vento) and he refuses to leave his room.

However, Rebecca (Molly Wright) turns up and the mother-to-be saves the day – but there's clearly something on her mind.

Later on she finally comes clean to Alison about what's been worrying her.

Elsewhere, Paul (Lee Ingleby) is forced into a situation where he has to spend time with Ben (David Gyasi)..

Alison then finds out she isn't the only one that's moved on from her marriage.

Ben is Alison's new love interest in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

How did The A Word series two end?

The A Word series two concluded with an ambiguous ending.

READ MORE: Who is Ben Chambers in The A Word? Here's why Alison's new love interest may look familiar

Although Paul packed his bags and was ready to leave the family, the series finale saw him reunite with Alison, Joe and Rebecca on top of a camper van.

Despite this heartwarming scene, it was the end of his marriage – but it wasn't the end of the family unit.

What happens in The A Word series 3?

In The A Word series 3, Paul is still living in the Lake District with Joe.

Meanwhile, Alison is based in Manchester where she is studying for her degree, and Rebecca is also at university.

The new season will see Alison and Paul try to move on following the split.

Alison may have a new love interest in The A Word (Credit: BBC)

She in particular feels guilty about the separation and feels like she's failed Joe.

"I've spent the last ten years fighting my son's corner and I don't regret that," she says. "I know the fight in me is hard to be around.

"Maybe it just got to be a habit, maybe I'm always looking for the next fight."

However, it looks like an unexpected new love interest could be on the horizon that could change everything...

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

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