Peter Wright says James Herriot would be bemused by ACGAS

All Creatures Great and Small: Tristan shows off his new car

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Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small is inspired by the life of famous vet James Wight, better known by his pen name James Herriot. The popular series is a remake of the 1970s drama based on the same books. Few people learned from the man himself as much as The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright, who began his career working for the vet. Talking about what he’d make of the current series, Peter admitted he would be “bemused”.

Peter continued to work at Skeldale Vets long after he began working for James.

He stayed at the surgery for 40 years before moving on in 2021 to work for a new veterinarian.

All Creatures Great and Small has become a favourite with viewers, who enjoy the nostalgic feel of the drama.

When asked what the real James would have thought about the Channel 5 show, he replied: “I believe he would have certainly enjoyed it.”

He continued: “I’ve enjoyed seeing how, you know, the world is changing. And it’s changed since the late ’70s.

“People’s perceptions have moved on, you know, and this gentleman died in 1995.

“So there’s a whole generation growing up not really knowing about James Herriot.

“He didn’t see himself as this famous icon, he saw his job as 90 percent researcher and five percent author.

“And I think he’d be quite bemused by the way it’s [the series] taken off again for the second time.”

On the current cast, he added: “They do it so well with the characters that I grew up with – namely Alf Wight and [Donald] Sinclair,” who is depicted in the series as Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West).

“I think it’s very hard for them [the current cast],” Peter reflected.

“Because Robert Hardy (who starred as Siegfried Farnon in the 1970s series) spent time with them to learn their mannerisms.

“Whereas obviously Nick (Nicolas Ralph, who plays James Herriot) and Sam (West) haven’t had those opportunities.”

“But I think they’re fantastic, I think they portray the characters extremely well.

“Nick and Rachel (Shenton, Helen Alderson) do a brilliant job.”

When asked if he enjoys the series, he commented: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Peter also detailed what was coming up in his new series of The Yorkshire Vet, explaining there would be some “funny moments”.

The show, which is now on its 15th series, remains as popular as ever, despite Peter having initial doubts about making the show.

He confessed before filming series one he believed “nobody would watch it”, and is still reminded of how incorrect he had been.

The Yorkshire Vet continues on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5.

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