Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Nicholas Ralph, Rachel Shenton and Callum Woodhouse lead the cast alongside the late, great Dame Diana Rigg in Channel 5’s new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, based on James Herriot’s real-life memoirs.
The show follows the exploits of newly-qualified vet James Herriot, who embarks on a veterinary career in the deepest depths of rural Yorkshire – and comes to feel at home among both the community and his four-legged patients.
Read on for everything you need to know about the show’s characters and cast members.
Nicholas Ralph plays James Herriot
Who is James Herriot? The iconic young Yorkshire vet, played by Christopher Timothy in the original 1970s television series. Working in rural Yorkshire in the 1930s and ’40s, James struggles at first to adapt – but soon finds himself won over by both the community and animals he works with.
Where have I seen Nicholas Ralph before? The newcomer is making his television debut on All Creatures Great and Small.
Samuel West plays Siegfried Farnon
Who is Siegfried Farnon? A wealthy and capricious veterinary surgeon who – reluctantly – hires the recently qualified James Herriot to become his assistant. Siegfried is also the proprietor of Skeldale House.
Where have I seen Samuel West before? The actor is no stranger to appearing in period dramas, having recently starred in the likes of Mr. Selfridge (as Frank Edwards), On Chesil Beach, and the Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour (as Sir Anthony Eden). Previous credits also include The Crown (as Anthony Blunt), and the film Howards End.
Rachel Shenton plays Helen Alderson
Who is Helen Alderson? A local farmer’s free-spirited daughter, Helen finds herself in a love triangle with newcomer James Herriot, and a wealthy local landowner, Hugh.
Where have I seen Rachel Shenton before? Two years ago Shenton notably won the Oscar for Best Live Action short film, for The Silent Child. She’s otherwise known for playing Mitzeee in Hollyoaks, Joanne Scott in White Gold, and Courtney in Waterloo Road.
Callum Woodhouse plays Tristan Farnon
Who is Tristan Farnon? Siegfried’s popular but extravagant playboy brother.
Where have I seen Callum Woodhouse before? The actor is best known for playing Leslie Durrell in the series The Durrells. He’s also starred in Cold Feet and Father Brown.
Anna Madeley plays Mrs Hall
Who is Mrs Hall? The frank housekeeper of Skeldale House.
Where have I seen Anna Madeley before? The actress recently starred opposite David Tennant in the acclaimed Deadwater Fell (as Kate). She’s also starred in Patrick Melrose (as Cousin Mary), Silent Witness, The Crown (as Clarissa Eden), Mr Selfridge (as Miss Ravillious) and Utopia (as Anya).
Diana Rigg plays Mrs Pumphrey
Who is Mrs Pumphrey? A wealthy local resident and proud owner of an extremely spoilt pekingese dog named Tricki Woo.
Where have I seen Diana Rigg before? A new generation was introduced to the acclaimed actress when she starred in HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, playing the acid-tongued matriarch Olenna Tyrell. She’s also known for roles in Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (as Tracy), The Avengers (as Emma Peel), Bleak House, and, more recently, the TV series Detectorists and Victoria.
Sadly, just after her she made her first appearance in All Creatures Great and Small, Diana Rigg died on 10th September 2020 at the age of 82.
Matthew Lewis plays Hugh Hulton
Who is Hugh Hulton? A wealthy landowner who is also vying for Helen’s affections. He owns a prized racehorse.
Where have I seen Matthew Lewis before? You’ll of course recognise Matthew Lewis for playing the valiant (if accident-prone) Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film franchise. However, he’s also starred in the likes of The Syndicate, Bluestone 42, Girlfriends (as Tom), and Happy Valley (as Sean Balmforth).
Alexis Platt plays Dick Rudd
Who is Dick Rudd? A farmer, and the owner of Strawberry the cow. He initially gives James a bit of a hard time, but soon comes to respect him.
Where have I seen Alexis Platt before? Credits include Coronation Street, Ackley bridge, Last Tango in Halifax, and Prey.
Tony Pitts plays Richard Alderson
Who is Richard Alderson? A farmer, and the father of Helen Alderson and little Jenny Alderson (Imogen Clawson).
Where have I seen Tony Pitts before? Have to say – we didn’t expect Tony Pitts to pop up in All Creatures Great and Small! You might recognise him as Hargreaves from Line of Duty, or as Inspector Moss from Peaky Blinders; he’s also been in Jamestown (as Edgar Massinger), Wild Bill (as Keith Metcalfe), MotherFatherSon (as Lennox), Giri/Haji (as Steve), My Mad Fat Diary (as Chloe’s Dad), and Emmerdale (as Archie Brooks). On the big screen, he played Captain Pterro in Rogue One.
Jon Furlong plays Mr Dobson
Who is Mr Dobson? A farmer, and the owner of a herd of cows. He pays the Aldersons for the services of their bull, Clive.
Where have I seen Jon Furlong before? The actor played Brother Godwin in The Last Kingdom.
Steven Blakeley plays Foyle
Who is Foyle? The extremely-officious organiser of the local fair.
Where have I seen Steven Blakeley before? He is best known for starring as PC Geoff Younger in the TV series Heartbeat.
Mollie Winnard plays Maggie
Who is Maggie? The barmaid, who takes a shine to Tristan Farnon.
What else has Mollie Winnard been in? She previously starred as Kayla Clifton in Coronation Street.
Maimie McCoy plays Dorothy
Who is Dorothy? Mrs Hall’s close friend, from their time working together in the war. She drops in every now and then, and there might be chemistry between her and Siegfried Farnon….
What else has Maimie McCoy been in? She recently starred in the ITV crime drama Van der Valk, as well as playing Nancy Raynott in White House Farm (2020) and DC Tracy Joyce in A Confession (2019). Other roles have included Milady de Winter in The Musketeers, Tamsin Richards in DCI Banks, and Nicole Palmerston-Amory in Personal Affairs.
Nigel Havers plays General Ransom
Who is General Ransom? The snobbish boss of a prestigious racecourse. General Ransom is looking for a new vet to attend to the racehorses, and he’s not sure whether country vet Siegfried Farnon will pass muster.
Where have I seen Nigel Havers before? His roles have included Lord Andrew Lindsay in Chariots of Fire, Tom Latimer in Don’t Wait Up, and Lewis Archer in Coronation Street.
Who is Lillian Calvert? An acerbic farmer, who pours scorn on poor James Herriot.
Where have I seen Susan Jameson before? She is best known for starring as Esther Lane in New Tricks, a role she played for ten years, and for playing Great Aunt Loretta in Grandpa in My Pocket. Other recent credits have included All That Remains, Mrs Wilson, and Casualty.
All Creatures Great and Small began on Tuesday 1st September at 9pm on Channel 5, continuing on Tuesdays at 9pm.