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Meet the cast of All Creatures Great and Small

Nicholas Ralph plays the iconic Yorkshire vet alongside series co-stars Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Rachel Shenton and Callum Woodhouse.

All Creatures Great and Small cast
Channel 5
Published: Tuesday, 21st December 2021 at 11:01 am

Channel 5's hit remake of All Creatures Great and Small returned earlier this year for a second season – and it's just the comforting Yorkshire cuppa we needed, as we said in our four-star All Creatures season two review.


Viewers now also have the brand new All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special to look forward to – although if you haven't yet watched season two you might want to catch up beforehand, as quite a lot has happened in Darrowby, with a slow-burn romance between James Herriot and Helen Alderson.

Based on James Herriot's real-life memoirs, the 1930s period drama debuted last year, following a young Scottish vet who must adjust to a new, countryside way of working.

Samuel West and Nicholas Ralph reprise their respective roles as the curmudgeonly local vet Siegfried Farnon and his new colleague James Herriot.

In season two, the cosy Yorkshire Dales drama picks up several months after the events of last year's Christmas special, which ended in dramatic style with a cancelled wedding.

Rachel Shenton reprises her role as Helen Alderson, a local farmer's daughter whose will-they-won't-they romance with James continues into season two.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, given the drama's success, All Creatures Great and Small season three is in the works, according to showrunner Ben Vanstone.

The season two cast included faces both old and new, including Patricia Hodge, who replaced the late Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs Pomphreys.

The broadcaster released a first-look at Patricia Hodge in All Creatures Great and Small back in August.

Read on for everything you need to know about the show's characters and cast members.

Nicholas Ralph plays James Herriot

James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph)
Channel 5

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 Scottish actor makes his television debut in All Creatures Great and Small. He's previously performed at a variety of theatres in Scotland, in plays including Captain Amazing, Interference, and Cinderella.

Samuel West plays Siegfried Farnon

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Siegfried Farnon? A wealthy and capricious veterinary surgeon who - reluctantly - hired the recently qualified James Herriot to become his assistant. Siegfried is also the proprietor of Skeldale House and its veterinary practice. He is a widower, and he also raised his younger brother Tristan after the death of their parents.

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 

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Helen Alderson? Helen is a local farmer's daughter who has been helping raise her little sister ever since the death of their mother. It's a hard life making a living from the farm, but Helen has a relentlessly positive can-do attitude. In season one, she had a longstanding romance with landowner Hugh, but by season two she's started up a relationship with James.

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 Anne "Mitzeee" Minniver in Hollyoaks, Joanne Scott in White Gold, and Courtney in Waterloo Road.

Patricia Hodge plays Mrs Pumphrey 

All Creatures Great and Small: Series 2
Channel 5

Who is Mrs Pumphrey? A wealthy local resident and proud owner of an extremely spoilt Pekingese dog named Tricki Woo. Mrs Pumphrey was played by Dame Diana Rigg in the first series.

Where have I seen Patricia Hodge before? Olivier Award winning actress Patricia Hodge is best known for starring in Miranda, Rumpole of the Bailey, Betrayal, The Life and Loves of a She-Devil and Hotel du Lac.

Callum Woodhouse plays Tristan Farnon

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Tristan Farnon? Siegfried's popular but extravagant playboy brother. Tristan is training to be a vet like his older brother, but he has a habit of failing exams. That's true in season two, too – but Tristan's older brother Siegfried lied to him at the end of season one, telling him that he'd passed all his veterinary exams.

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

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Mrs Hall? The housekeeper of Skeldale House. Mrs Hall is a force to be reckoned with – often putting her employer in his place – but she is kind and loving heart, and usually knows what's best. We know from series one that she previously left an abusive relationship, and that she has a grown-up son called Edward who is somewhat elusive.

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).

June Watson as Mrs Watkins

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Mrs Watkins? Mrs Watkins is a blind resident of Darrowby, who asks for Tristan's help when her bird falls ill.

Where have I seen June Watson before? June Watson has appeared in Casualty, The Death of Stalin, Agatha Raisin, Holby City, Doctors, Law & Order UK and Strictly Confidential.

Imogen Clawson as Jenny Alderson

Jenner Alderson
Channel 5

Who is Jenny Alderson? Jenny is the younger sister of Helen Alderson.

Where have I seen Imogen Clawson before? Imogen Clawson made her acting debut in the first series of All Creatures Great and Small as Jenny Alderson.

Bobbi plays Scruff

Channel 5

Who is Scruff? Scruff is Jenny Alderson's new puppy, who causes trouble for the Alderson family after he chases the neighbouring farm's sheep in season two.

Where have I seen Bobbi before? Bobbi the cocker spaniel is best known for appearing in All Creatures Great and Small.

Matthew Lewis plays Hugh Hulton

All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who is Hugh Hulton? A wealthy landowner and Helen's long-term love interest prior to James' arrival in Darrowby.

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).

Maimie McCoy plays Dorothy

Maimie McCoy plays Dorothy in All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5)

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.

Mollie Winnard plays Maggie

Mollie Winnard plays Maggie in All Creatures Great and Small

Who is Maggie? The barmaid, who took a shine to Tristan Farnon in series one. They had a casual relationship, but then broke it off before things got too serious.

What else has Mollie Winnard been in? She previously starred as Kayla Clifton in Coronation Street.

Tony Pitts plays Richard Alderson

Tony Pitts plays Richard Alderson in All Creatures

Who is Richard Alderson? A farmer and widower, 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.

Dave Hill & Cleo Sylvestre play Bert & Anne Chapman

Dave Hill and Cleo Sylvestre play Bert and Anne Chapman in All Creatures Great and Small
Channel 5

Who are Bert and Anne Chapman? An elderly couple who we meet in the 2020 Christmas special when they require James Herriot's help with their heavily-pregnant border collie. They live in a remote little cottage in the Dales.

Where have I seen Dave Hill before? If his face looks familiar, that's probably because he's appeared in 138 movies and TV shows – including EastEnders (as Bert Atkinson), Mrs Wilson, Girlfriends, Skins, Rocket Man, Doctor Who (as Nessican), The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, The Full Monty, and Place of Execution.

Where have I seen Cleo Sylvestre before? The actress has enjoyed a prolific career on stage, and was in fact the first Black woman ever to play a leading role at the National Theatre. On the big screen, she's appeared in Paddington (as Marjorie Clyde) and Kidulthood (as Sam's mum), while on the small screen she's been in shows including The Guilty, Grange Hill, and The Gemini Factor.

Alexis Platt plays Dick Rudd

Alexis Platt plays Dick Rudd in All Creatures

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.

Jon Furlong plays Mr Dobson

Jon Furlong plays Mr Dobson in All Creatures

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

Steven Blakeley plays Foyle in All Creatures

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.

Nigel Havers plays General Ransom 

Nigel Havers plays General Ransom in All Creatures Great and Small

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.

Susan Jameson plays Lillian Calvert

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.

You can order James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small from Amazon.


The All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special airs on Channel 5 on Christmas Eve. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.


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