All Creatures Great and Small to make surprise return

James Herriot is making a comeback...

All Creatures Great and Small is to make a surprise return to our screens on Channel 5.

The broadcaster has announced that it’s making a new series and a Christmas special based on the real-life autobiographical novels by Yorkshire vet James Herriot.

Christopher Timothy as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small

Christopher Timothy won huge TV audiences as James Herriot in the original series (picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

All Creatures Great and Small was famously adapted previously by the BBC. The original TV series, which ran from 1979-1990, starred Christopher Timothy as James Herriot, Robert Hardy as Siegfried Farnon and Peter Davison as Tristan Farnon.

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Speaking about remaking the books, Sebastian Cardwell, the digital channel controller at Channel 5, told The Guardian: “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.

“The original books affectionately captured a unique slice of British life. In challenging times we hope the charming and heartwarming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”

The new series will have a lot to live up to as the original was enormously popular, not least for its memorable theme tune, which was composed by Johnny Pearson.

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The BBC did attempt an All Creatures Great and Small prequel, Young James Herriot, but that proved short-lived.

It’s not been revealed yet whether either Christopher Timothy or Peter Davison might make cameo appearances in the new All Creatures. Robert Hardy sadly passed away aged 91 in 2017.

The new series, which will be shot on location in Yorkshire, is expected to be shown next year.

Main picture of original All Creatures Great and Small cast: Alamy Stock Photo