Channel 5 has commissioned a one-off Christmas special from Leeds-based eOne indie Daisybeck Studios and GroupM Motion Entertainment; All Creatures Great and Small Meets The Yorkshire Vet. The 1 x 60’ cross genre episode will bring together some of the key cast members from both shows in celebration of the renowned Channel 5 drama and the award-winning team from The Yorkshire Vet.
In 2015 Daisybeck Studios started in production with the first series of The Yorkshire Vet, filmed in Thirsk, North Yorkshire – the working home of James Herriot – and featuring his apprentice, Peter Wright. The Yorkshire Vet tells modern-day tales of All Creatures Great and Small through the vets, farmers and pet owners that call James Herriot country home, and has become a viewer favourite.
The critically acclaimed drama adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, produced by BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground, has become one of Channel 5’s biggest shows. The fourth series recently aired on Channel 5 with consistent slot winning performances across the run, peaking at 3.7m, and will return for a Christmas special later this year.
This special show will see Yorkshire Vets, Peter Wright and Shona Searson, enter the world of Darrowby with exclusive behind the scenes access to the filming of the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas episode with actors Nicholas Ralph (James Herriot) and Rachel Shenton (Helen Herriot). We will also see Peter step in front of the camera as he appears as an extra in the drama. Later in the show, Sam West (Siegfried Farnon) and Anna Madeley (Mrs Hall), enter the world of The Yorkshire Vet, discovering the real people behind their characters, with visits to some of the now well-known haunts, including the real Drovers Arms. It has been commissioned by Greg Barnett, Commissioning Editor Factual Entertainment and Unscripted, Channel 5 & Paramount+, who originally commissioned The Yorkshire Vet for Channel 5.
Greg Barnett, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment and Unscripted, Channel 5 and Paramount+: “Both these series command huge audiences and we couldn’t resist putting the actors and the actual Herriot trainee and team together to create some heart-warming and entertaining TV. In sort of a “job swap” way, viewers will get to see behind the scenes at this year’s Christmas special whilst some of the actors experience Skeldale Practice first-hand and get taken to a couple of James Herriot’s favourite places. It’s a real Christmas treat.”
Paul Stead, Managing Director of Daisybeck Studios, said: “Nearly 200 episodes have been made to date of The Yorkshire Vet, with Series 18 recently announced and we’re really proud to continue the James Herriot legacy through the title, so it seemed natural to bring the two shows together for Christmas. “We’ve been blessed with the support of James Herriot’s family, and we can’t wait to celebrate both All Creatures Great and Small and The Yorkshire Vet in this special, whilst continuing to remember the man who inspired both.”
Peter Wright, real-life Herriot trainee and star of The Yorkshire Vet, said: “It’s going to be great introducing Sam West to people who knew Donald Sinclair, the real person who inspired his character Siegfried Farnon.”
Melanie Darlastan, Exec Producer for GroupM Motion Entertainment, said: “It’s a privilege to have been working with Daisybeck Studios on The Yorkshire Vet right from the very start. This Christmas special promises to be a real treat for all animal lovers and a celebration of two brilliant shows.”
Executive producer of All Creatures Great and Small Meets The Yorkshire Vet is Paul Stead, with Emily Cadman and Adam Purver as producers and Adam Caldow and Jacob Hesmondhalgh as producers/directors.
This episode is due to air later this year on Channel 5.
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