ACGAS boss jokes he was ‘tolerated’ by locals: ‘They could tell I was southern’

All Creatures Great and Small: Cast on lack of 'villains'

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Following the endearingly dysfunctional veterinary practice in the verdant Yorkshire Dales, All Creatures Great and Small is returning to Channel 5 with a third season later this year. Executive producer Ben Vanstone shared the pressure he was under from some of the Yorkshire residents to make a success of the TV remake.

The showrunner revealed how his first trip to the Dales was when he began writing for the Channel 5 series. 

Speaking about the county, he gushed: “I loved it, and I love the people. 

“There’s a flinty honesty to them and a sense that they don’t really suffer fools gladly, which I appreciate. 

“They could tell that I was southern, but I was tolerated, which was nice,” he added, touching on the reception he received.

When the locals would see Ben with his book, which would be used for jotting ideas down, the writer said he would often feel the pressure from the residents to do a great job of the series. 

He continued to PBS Masterpiece: “They’d always say, ‘Make sure you don’t mess it up’, dozens of people told me that. 

“And the actors too, Sam West got it a lot.

“That would be the standard response from everyone,” he jested.

As the show’s profile grows, Ben, whose writing credits include The Last Kingdom, has to balance notes from Channel 5, PBS Masterpiece and distributor All3Media International, which has sold the series far and wide internationally.

Furthermore, season three is set to feature the long-anticipated wedding between Scottish vet James Herriot (Nicholas Ralph) and local farmer’s daughter Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton).

Fans were sent into meltdown after snaps were released showing the characters linking arms while walking out of a church, dressed up in their wedding gown and suit. 

Rachel was seen in a beautiful wedding gown carrying a bouquet of flowers while Nicholas looked dapper in a suit. 

Teasing viewers, Ben told The Mirror: “In season three, Helen and James have become engaged, it’s fair to say a marriage [could be] on the horizon.”

The leading actor and former Hollyoaks star praised her Channel 5 co-stars, with whom she enjoys working, ahead of the show’s third outing. 

Rachel beamed: “It sounds really cheesy but to get to go to work and not only enjoy the material that you’re working on, enjoy where you’re working, but more importantly, the people that you’re with.

“I couldn’t really have asked for a better company and a better ensemble.”

Speaking on the Talkshire podcast, Rachel continued: “It’s been the best bit, I’m so corny but everybody gets on so well.”

“It really makes the job easier and everyone cares,” she said.

In January, Channel 5 commissioned seasons three and four of All Creatures with PBS, and it recently freed up even more room for drama on its schedule.

The Darrowby residents are edging closer and closer to the brink of World War Two and fans can expect to see the beloved locals living with some fear, but despite this, Ben claimed the event wouldn’t be at the “forefront” of the series. 

All Creatures Great and Small seasons one and two are available to stream on My5.

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