What happened to the original cast of All Creatures Great and Small?

All Creatures Great and Small original
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Channel 5's new version of All Creatures Great And Small starts, we ask whatever happened to the cast of the original BBC series?

As C5 launch a new version of All Creatures on Tuesday 1st September, we ask what happened to the original cast of All Creatures Great and Small?

All Creatures was BBC1’s BIG Sunday night period drama, years before Pride And Prejudice and Call The Midwife had viewers hooked.

All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) in the new look All Creatures (Image credit: Matt Squire)

Based on the books by British vet, Alf Wright (who wrote under the name, James Herriot), the series was set in the Yorkshire Dales and followed the goings-on at a family run vets practice.

It ran for seven series between 1978 to 1990.

MORE: How to watch All Creatures Great and Small online anywhere in the world


The series has now been revived by C5 with an all-new cast including Sam West (Mr Selfridge), Anna Madeley (Deadwater Fell) and ex-Hollyoaks star Rachel Shenton.

It starts on Tuesday 1st September at 9:00pm on C5. (See our TV Guide for full listings).

But whatever happened to the original cast of All Creatures?

Christopher Timothy (as James Herriot)

Christopher will be a familiar face to soap fans.

He was cast in the role of Mac McGuire when Doctors began on BBC1 in 2000. He played the part for six years until lovecheat Mac was given the boot by his wife, Julia Parsons (Diane Keen) after she discovered he’d had an affair with surgery Practice Manager, Kate McGuire (Maggie Cronin).

EastEnders, Ted Murray, Joyce Murray

Christopher as Ted Murray in EastEnders

Christopher was back in soapland in 2017 when he joined the cast of EastEnders as Ted Murray, the downstairs neighbour of rowdy Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) and her children.

In this classic clip, he accidentally shoots Johnny Carter!


Christopher has made plenty of other appearances on telly with guest roles in Casualty (he played Karl, the killer of long-time paramedic, Finlay Newton) The Bill, Shakespeare & Hathaway and this year’s ITV comedy, Kate & Koji with Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola.

He was also the regular narrator of  C5’s real-life documentary series, The Yorkshire Vet. Until his former All Creatures co-star, Peter Davison took over earlier this year!

Robert Hardy (as Siegfried Farnon)

Harry Potter fans will recognise Robert from his role as Cornelius Fudge, one-time Minister of Magic, in the Harry Potter feature films.


Robert has also appeared on the big screen in the films, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) with Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro. And in Sense And Sensibility (1995) with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.

Robert Hardy as Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small

Robert as Siegfried Farnon (credit: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

The actor also had TV guest roles in episodes of Inspector Morse, Midsommer Murders, Spooks, Agatha Christie’s Marple and Lewis.

In 2015, he played Winston Churchill in ITV’s drama-documentary, Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain.

Robert passed away aged 91 on 3 August 2017.

Peter Davison (as Tristan Farnon)

Peter must be one of the busiest actors in Britain!

He has rarely been off our TV screens since the original All Creatures Great And Small ended its run.

He played husband, David Braithwaite for the complete run of ITV’s At Home With The Braithwaite, about a family thrown into chaos after David’s wife, Alison (Amanda Redman) wins £38,000,000 on the lottery!

The series also reunited Peter and former All Creatures co-star Lynda Bellingham (who took over the role of Helen Herriot in the later BBC series).

But the role that gained Peter international recognition, was as the fifth Doctor in Doctor Who back in the 80s. He took over the role from Tom Baker.



This year, Peter was on screen in BBC1’s The Trial Of Christine Keeler as real-life criminal law barrister, James Burge.

He has also narrated C5’s The Yorkshire Vet. He took over the narrator role for Series 10 while his former All Creatures co-star, Christopher Timothy was self-isolating with his wife, Annie during lockdown and unable to perform his usual voiceover duties for the series set at a vets practice in North Yorkshire.

Carol Drinkwater (as Helen Herriot)

Carol played the role of James’s wife, Helen for the first three series on BBC1.

After leaving the series, she continued to appear on TV throughout the 80s and 90s with roles in series including ITV’s Golden Pennies, about a British family who travel to Australia to seek their fortune in the goldfields suring the 1850s.

Plus sci-fi series, Chocky and its sequel, Chocky’s Children.

Carol also launched a successful writing career. Her children’s novel, The Haunted School was adapted into an 80s Aussie TV series (Beth Buchanan who played Gemma Ramsay in Neighbours was in it!).


Her recent novels include The House On The Edge Of The Cliff, a mystery thriller/love story that starts in Paris in 1968.

Lynda Bellingham (as Helen Herriot)

Christopher Timothy and Lynda Bellingham in 1988 in All Creatures (credit: Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

Christopher Timothy and Lynda Bellingham in 1988 in All Creatures (credit: Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lynda, who had already become famous as the “Oxo mum” in a long-running series of TV ads for the food brand, took over the role of Helen Herriot for the later series of All Creatures on BBC1 during the late 80s.

After the series ended, Lynda starred opposite James Bolam in the ITV sitcom, Second Thoughts as divorcee, Faith Grayshot.

Lynda had a recurring guest role as gangster mum, Irene Radford on The Bill in 2004. The character had a long-time grudge against Inspector Gina Gold. She took her hostage and there was a SHOCK shoot-out!

Lynda competed on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2009. She was voted out in Week 4 and later said she hadn’t really enjoyed the experience.

She toured the country in a stage version of The Calendar Girls between 2008 to 2012. And she was a regular member of the panel on ITV chatshow, Loose Women between 2007 to 2011.

In 2013, Lynda revealed the sad news she had been diagnosed with cancer.

In 2014, she made the decision to stop having chemotherapy after the cancer spread, choosing to spend her remaining time with her husband, Michael and their family.

Lynda made a final appearance on Loose Women to discuss her decision and talk about her book, There’s Something I’ve Been Dying To Tell You. Lynda died aged 66 on 19 October 2014.

See more

All Creatures Great And Small starts Tuesday 1 September at 9:00pm on C5

Simon Timblick

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters.

Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave?

Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!

Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy.

He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.

Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)

And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.