23 February 2024

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Channel 5

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Channel 5 today announces the double commission of series 5 and 6 of its hit series All Creatures Great and Small. Based on best-selling author James Herriot’s beloved and iconic collection of stories, the critically acclaimed adaptation from BAFTA and Golden Globe-winning production company Playground (Howards End, Wolf Hall, The Hardacres) will return for two series consisting of six episodes (6 x 60”) each plus Christmas Specials. Returning to the ensemble during Series 5 will be Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon. MASTERPIECE on PBS in the US co-produces in association with global partner All3Media International.

All Creatures Great and Small has become a staple in the Channel 5 schedule, continuing to be the channel’s most popular series. Series 4, which aired from October 2023, saw 4.4 million viewers* tune in across the series run, and the series grew its audience share further.

All Creatures Great and Small will return to shoot on location in Yorkshire for series 5 and 6. Returning for the fifth series is Nicholas Ralph as vet James Herriot, and Samuel West as his mercurial mentor Siegfried Farnon. Anna Madeley returns as the matriarch of Skeldale House, Mrs Hall along with Rachel Shenton as the charismatic Helen Herriot. James Anthony-Rose also reappears as Richard Carmody. Also returning is Patricia Hodge as the wonderfully sophisticated Mrs Pumphrey, and her adored pampered Pekingese Tricki. Callum Woodhouse reprises his role as Tristan Farnon, Siegfried’s mischievous brother who has been serving in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, when he makes an unexpected return later in the series.  

The series will continue to bring the stories of James Herriot to life as we return to Darrowby to rejoin our unconventional much loved Skeldale Family and the colourful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1940s.

Also returning for series five are writers Debbie O’Malley (Payback, The Guilty) who will write episodes 1 and 6 and Maxine Alderton (All Creatures Great and Small, Doctor Who) who will write episodes 2 and 4 and both will serve as Associate Producers on series 5. They are joined by writers Matt Evans (Phoenix Rise, A Town Called Malice) who will write episode 3 and Robin French (Cuckoo, The Great) will write episode 5.  Brian Percival (All Creatures Great and Small, Dark Angel) returns as Lead Director and Executive Producer of Episodes 1 and 2, Stewart Svaasand (Tin Star, Outlander) returns to direct episodes 3 & 4, and Andy Hay (All Creatures Great and Small, The Last Kingdom) will direct Episodes 5, 6 and the Christmas Special. Yvonne Francas (The Syndicate, Our Girl) also returns as Producer.

All Creatures Great and Small is a Playground production for Channel 5 and MASTERPIECE in association with All3Media International. Series 5 and 6 were commissioned by Deputy Director of Programmes, Paramount, Seb Cardwell, alongside Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Executive Producers are Colin Callender and Aaron Anderson for Playground, Susanne Simpson and Rebecca Eaton for MASTERPIECE, Louise Pedersen and David Swetman for All3Media International and Seb Cardwell and Paul Testar for Channel 5.

On the double series order, Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+ said: “We’re so pleased that All Creatures Great and Small will be returning to Channel 5 for two more series. The show has captured the hearts of our audiences and we are committed to bringing even more of James Herriot’s unforgettable stories to our viewers. We can’t wait to share this next chapter.”

Sir Colin Callender CBE, Executive Producer and CEO of Playground commented: “Kindness and decency are increasingly rare qualities these days, so it is a blessing to be able to return to the sanctuary of Skeldale House and James Herriot’s beloved characters who represent all that is the best in us.  There are no villains in All Creatures - just everyday folk trying to get through the day with dignity with the help of a supportive community, family and friends.  It’s a lesson for modern times.”

Susanne Simpson, Executive Producer for MASTERPIECE added: “It is such a joy to share the news of two more seasons of All Creatures Great and Small. The MASTERPIECE audience has come to treasure this heart-warming series. We’re also particularly happy to welcome back Callum Woodhouse as Tristan to this incredible ensemble of actors.”

Executive Producer Louise Pedersen, CEO of All3Media International, also adds: “The heartwarming, escapist viewing offered by All Creatures Great and Small has charmed audiences around the world so I am delighted Playground’s joyful stories will return for a fifth and sixth series as we continue to grow this brand globally.”

James Alfred Wight OBE FRCVS was a veterinary surgeon who graduated from Glasgow Veterinary College at the age of 23. He headed to a veterinary practice in Thirsk, Yorkshire, in 1940 where he fell in love with the Dales and the woman he would marry, Joan Danbury. Wight later wrote stories based on his own adventures as a young country vet, under the pen name James Herriot, quickly becoming one of Britain’s best-loved authors.

All Creatures Great and Small is a timeless classic that continues to be much loved by generations of readers. Never out of print, the books have become a global cultural phenomenon with devoted fans around the world. With a sharp focus on community and its importance in our lives, Herriot’s world and spirit is a very much needed antidote to the challenges of our modern times, transporting viewers to a gentle past, populated with wonderfully observed characters. The series reminds us all that belonging to a community makes us part of something much greater than ourselves.

*28 day BARB consolidation figures

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