Hope of economic boost from All Creatures Great and Small remake

The original credits from All Creatures Great and Small.

Civic leaders, tourism bosses and the children of the author of the James Herriot stories have spoken of their joy after it was announced a new All Creatures Great And Small TV series will be shot later this year.

Council and business leaders said they expected the fresh adaptation of Thirsk vet Alf Wight’s books, including a Christmas special, would attract a surge of visitors to the area, bolster the local economy and secure services for residents.

Playground, the production company behind the Oscar-winning film Howard’s End said the episodes chronicling the adventures of a vet in the 1930s would be shot on location in the Yorkshire Dales and shown on Channel 5, which also screens the popular Thirsk-based Yorkshire Vet series.

The announcement comes just days after the World of James Herriot museum in the town celebrated its 20th anniversary and ahead of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the books, which have been translated into dozens of languages.

While the production company has not given dates for when the series will be shot, catering businesses in the northern Dales yesterday said they had been approached to provide food for film crews next month.

Sebastian Cardwell, digital channel controller at Channel 5, said: “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 heart-warming stories of community and compassion will resonate with new audiences.”

Colin Callender, Playground’s executive producer, added that revisiting the James Herriot stories would be “an immense privilege” and the firm was “honoured that Alf Wight’s family have entrusted us with his legacy”.

He said: “It is a responsibility we take very seriously. 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.”

The author’s children, Jim Wight, a retired vet and Rosie Page, a former GP, said they were “delighted that our father’s work will be brought to life once again for a new generation of viewers Great and Small”.

Thirsk councillor and deputy leader of North Yorkshire County Council Gareth Dadd said the new series would cement the relationship between Herriot and the town and surrounding area and provide “a massive, well-deserved economic boost”, showcasing it to a world-wide audience.

Hambleton District Council leader Councillor Mark Robson added the new series would help to strengthen the area’s tourism industry.

He said: “We know how good the original TV series was at displaying the beauty of Swaledale and Wensleydale and this new adaptation will reaffirm the position of Thirsk and the surrounding area on the map.”

Yorkshire Dales businesswoman and councillor Yvonne Peacock said: “I am absolutely delighted. It did such a lot for the Dales first time round, there’s no question how it brought in more visitors. However, it will also have a knock-on effect for trades such as plumbers, electricians and will mean local people can enjoy better shops and places to eat.

“We are trying to attract families to come and live in the Dales and this will showcase the whole area as a beautiful place to live.”