Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism’

Project Details

  • Exec Producer : Tom Barry
  • Director : Lucy Wilcox
  • Head of Production: Nicky Murphy
  • Production Manager : Felicity Arkell
  • Editor : Jane Greenwood
  • BBC
  • December 2021

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Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have three children, 8-year-old twins, Leo and Penelope, and 5-year-old Felicity. All three have been diagnosed with autism, a condition that means your brain works in a different way from other people and can impact how you interact with the world. Paddy struggled with the initial diagnosis and what it meant for his family’s future. Christine accepted the children’s diagnoses more quickly than Paddy. She tells us how she sees herself in her kids and threw herself into supporting the children, while Paddy focused on his work and providing for his family in the best way he knew.

This raw and intimate documentary is made over many months, following Paddy and Christine at home, as well as meeting other parents, experts, and people on the autism spectrum including footballer, Paul Scholes, who has a 16-year-old non-verbal autistic son. In the early days, like many parents, Paddy went down the rabbit hole of Google research trying to find out why all three of his children are autistic. He meets Professor Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University, who says, ‘it’s just who the person is… with their unique strengths and challenges’.  Simon tests Paddy and Christine’s autistic traits and the results start a whole new journey for the couple.

Having started from very different places, over the course of filming and learning more about autism, Paddy and Christine move closer together and come to a much stronger understanding about what autism means for their family.