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All Creatures Great And Small to return to TV


James Herriot’s best-selling novels are to return to the small screen, with a new commission from Channel 5.

The new adaptation will be produced by Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall) and has been commissioned for an initial run of 6 episodes and a Christmas special.

It will Channel 5’s largest drama commission and it will be co-produced with Masterpiece on PBS in the United States

The production will receive funding and support from Screen Yorkshire and begins filming on location in the county later this year.

It will be produced by Richard Burrell (New Tricks, Silent Witness), Ben Vanstone (The Last Kingdom) is lead writer and Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) is lead director.

The return to the screen will mark the 50th anniversary of the original publication of the books in 2020.

Set in the Yorkshire Dales during the 1930s and 40s, they were written by James Alfred Wight OBE FRCVS, under the pen name of James Herriot.

They were adapted into a hit BBC One series in the 70s and 80s. Starring Robert Hardy, Peter Davison, Lynda Bellingham and Christopher Timothy as Herriot, they attracted almost 13m viewers.

“James Herriot has a special place in the heart of the public and the commission of this iconic drama series, against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales, is set to bring joy to a new army of TV viewers,” said Sebastian Cardwell, Channel 5.

“The original books affectionately captured a unique slice of British life; in challenging times, we hope the charming and heart-warming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”

Channel 5’s factual series, The Yorkshire Vet, is set in James Herriot’s original veterinary practice.

“Revisiting James Herriot’s beloved stories is an immense privilege and we are honoured that Alf Wight’s family have entrusted us with his legacy. It is a responsibility we take very seriously.” added Colin Callender, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground.

“At a time when the country feels more divided than ever, Herriot’s glorious books remind us how to connect and belong again. The series will embrace the fun and the nostalgia of revisiting the England of the past, while celebrating Herriot’s values that, despite all our current upheaval, still underpin British life today.”

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