All Creatures Great and Small star Nicholas Ralph opens up on ‘tough’ summer filming

All Creatures Great and Small: Season 2's happy ending

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All Creatures Great and Small is one ofChannel 5’s most popular shows and the wholesome drama will be returning once more this year. Much to the excitement of fans, the show will be returning to Darrowby for a heart-warming Christmas special. The hit drama, which follows three veterinarians working in The Yorkshire Dales, is set to premiere on Christmas Eve. Actor Nicholas Ralph who plays the role of James Herriot revealed why the Christmas special was “tough to film”. 

The critically acclaimed veterinarian drama is based on a series of books written by James Alfred Wight. 

Ahead of the festive special airing, Nicholas expressed the difficulties of filming for a winter programme in the “height of summer”.

Speaking to Channel 5, the Scottish actor said: “It was late June when we filmed, it was boiling.”

He added: “And I was kitted out in a three-piece suit, a jacket and hat, lugging a Christmas tree around.” 

While Christmas may have seemed a lifetime away for the cast and crew, the actor insisted viewers will be filled with festive joy.

He stated: “But you don’t lose any of the Christmassy loveliness when you see the episode.” 

The TV star added: “Even if it was tough to film wintery scenes in the height of summer!” 

While the series is inspired by real events, Nicholas plays the main role of author and vet James Herriot, which was the pen name Alf Wight used to write All Creatures Great and Small.

In the new adaptation of the much-loved drama, an average of 4.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the show, a record-breaking figure for Channel 5.

At the end of series two, James and partner Helen Anderson (played by Rachel Shenton) got engaged. 

In the festive special, the newly engaged couple are yet to decide where they will be spending Christmas Day. 

While their relationship appears to be going really well, the actor confessed: “Assumptions are made and that leads to some trouble.”

The pair are faced with a dilemma after receiving an invitation from both Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) and Jenny Alderson (Imogen Clawson).

While James assumes they will be attending Mrs Hall’s house for her usual spread, Helen imagined they would both be having lunch with Jenny. 

Their problem begins to highlight a much deeper issue when thought soon turns to where they will live after marriage.

Nicholas said: “There is this push and pull between them about where they’ll live after they’re married and what their roles will be.”

The real Alf Wight graduated from Glasgow Veterinary College in 1939 before returning to England to become a vet in Yorkshire.

The vet had practised for almost 50 years, before his passing in 1995.

Over the decades, the Scottish author had sold an impressive 60 million copies of his literature.

After releasing eight books about animals in Yorkshire and their owners, there have since been several TV adaptations.

All Creatures Great and Small’s Christmas special airs on Christmas Eve on Channel 5 at 9pm.

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