Daily Mail - Daily Mail Weekend Magazine
ROLE REPLAY: James Herriot
All Creatures Great And Small (9pm, Ch5) stars Nicholas Ralph in the role of the newly qualified vet having a baptism of fire in Yorkshire. Here’s who else has played the role…
Simon Ward (All Creatures Great And Small, 1975) In this first screen adaptation of Herriot’s first two novels, Ward was the big draw, having starred as Churchill in Young Winston (1972), while co-star Anthony Hopkins – who had also appeared in Young Winston, as David Lloyd George – was somewhat overshadowed in the role of Herriot’s mentor, Siegfried Farnon.
John Alderton (It Shouldn’t Happen To A Vet, 1976) The sequel to All Creatures was released just a year later, with Alderton – fresh from Please Sir! (1968-71) and Upstairs,
Downstairs (1972-73) – taking over from Simon Ward. Colin Blakely was his Siegfried. Christopher Timothy (All Creatures Great And Small, 1978-90) Perhaps the bestknown of the screen Herriots, Timothy only landed the role for this long-running BBC TV series after it had been turned down by Simon Ward, John Alderton and Richard Beckinsale. Iain De Caestecker (Young James Herriot, 2011) Focusing on Herriot’s time at veterinary college, this provided an early starring role for De Caestecker – who later made his name as Fitz in Marvel’s Agents Of Shield – and earned him a Scottish Bafta nomination.