Paddy and Christine McGuinness praised for 'beautiful, honest' autism documentary

·TV Reporter
·4-min read
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 22/11/2021 - Programme Name: Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Christine McGuinness, Paddy McGuinness - (C) Raw Factual Ltd - Photographer: Vincent Dolman
Christine McGuinness and Paddy McGuinness shared their family life. (Raw Factual Ltd/Vincent Dolman)

Paddy and Christine McGuinness have been praised for their open and honest documentary about family life with their autistic children which viewers said would "change the world".

The couple featured in BBC One programme Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism, where they showed viewers life with their three children, eight-year-old twins Leo and Penelope, and Felicity, five, who have all been diagnosed as autistic.

Read more: Paddy McGuinness says men are slowly becoming more open on feelings

In the documentary, the Top Gear host and his wife explored their feelings around their children's diagnoses and how they had found ways to help them.

At one point, a tearful Paddy said of his wife Christine: “Our kids dropped the lottery with Christine because they couldn’t wish for a better mum.”

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 22/11/2021 - Programme Name: Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Paddy & Christine McGuinness sitting talking outside  - (C) Raw Factual Ltd - Photographer: Raw Factual Ltd
Paddy praised his wife Christine. (Raw Factual Ltd)

Viewers offered their thanks and encouragement to the family, saying that many of the scenes had resonated with them.

Comedian Johnny Vegas tweeted: "What a beautiful, open, informative and emotive documentary currently showing on @BBCOne discussing #autism in our children. Thank you to @PaddyMcGuinness, family and other contributors for sharing and opening up such an important topic for conversation."

After Paddy thanked him for his words, he replied: "No, thank you and thanks Christine. It was a vital and very special journey to feel a part of. You all take great care. What a wonderful family you have and what a great Mam and Dad, willing to explore how best to mind each other x"

Carol Vorderman, who has a son with autism, was also amongst the documentary's celebrity fans, commenting on scenes where Paddy met with former footballer Paul Scholes who is father to an autistic son, too. 

She tweeted: "This was a most beautiful and honest and raw documentary. Congratulations @PaddyMcGuinness and Christine, and Paul Scholes for your story about your wonderful son. "Our Family and Autism" .. if you didn't see it , then please watch on @BBCiPlayer"

Floella Benjamin added: "Paddy your #Autism programme was riveting, informative, honest and emotional. But what was central was the family love that is carrying you all through the experiences of living with autism which will help others. Sending virtual hugs."

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 22/11/2021 - Programme Name: Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: Paddy McGuinness with his daughter  - (C) Raw Factual Ltd - Photographer: Raw Factual Ltd
The couple's three children are all autistic. (Raw Factual Ltd)

There was no end of praise for the couple and the story they shared about their family, including Christine being recently diagnosed as an adult.

One viewer tweeted: "This might be the breakthrough that parents of children diagnosed with autism have hoped for, a celebration of all of the wonderful gifts that it brings, and a kick up the a**e for the people who don’t understand or try to make them fit the ‘standard’ mould."

Read more: Paddy McGuinness says Prince Harry kissed him on boozy night out

Someone else commented: "As a parent of an autistic child, thank you hearing and seeing relatable experiences, feelings, concerns, emotions and more was so comforting. Sending love x"

Another viewer added: "@PaddyMcGuinness as a mum of 3 autistic children myself, I'm watching your documentary with an overwhelming sense of relief. I think there will be a lot of folks like me who are delighted you're putting your story out there. Thank you."

Someone else wrote: "A very astute programme on autism from @PaddyMcGuinness and his wife. Well done from a retired headteacher who knows education can change the world. You both changed the world tonight. #ourfamilyandautism"

And another fan tweeted: "Watching the #PaddyMcGuinness documentary about Autism. I’m so pleased someone in the public eye is raising awareness about #Autism Nobody truly gets it unless you have it or live with someone that does."

Comedian and presenter Paddy was clearly overwhelmed by the support and tweeted: "Thank you all for your kind words and wonderful support. It means the world to me and my family. x #ourfamilyandautism"

Watch: Paddy McGuinness calls for less judgment and more education on autism

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting