Christopher Eccleston is still "struggling with how to play comedy".

Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston

The 56-year-old actor has admitted he feels outside of his comfort zone with his role in BBC series 'The A Word', and conceded he's more at home in "serious" dramas.

He said: "I mean, I'm an actor who really - my comfort zone is in serious drama.

"I find my performance in 'The A Word' a little too broad and very difficult to watch. I have to say, I think you can see an actor still struggling with how to play comedy. But I'm very grateful for the opportunity to try."

The star also revealed that even some of his friends and family have "questioned" his performance in the role of tactless granddad Maurice Scott in the show.

He told "I find it a bit face-pull-y. It's not a performance I can particularly look at, and it's a performance that some of my close friends and family have questioned.

"It's a difficult watch for me, Maurice - what I'm doing as Maurice. But with other people it seems to have registered ... I'm glad that some people enjoy it."

The BBC series tells the story of a young boy and how his family cope with the discovery he has autism.

And Christopher thinks the show represents a landmark in British television.

He added: "I think it's possibly a first. I can't think of many episodes of television drama which have been centred around the wedding and celebration of independence of two people with Down's Syndrome.

"I can't. So I think in a very quiet and modest way, 'The A Word' is a benchmark, really.

"And I think in 10, 15 years it'll be looked back on as something that changed what we do on television, because we're not on BBC Two, we're not on Channel 4, we're on BBC One, prime-time, and our series is carried by a character who lives with autism, and a number of characters who live with Down's Syndrome."