All Creatures Great and Small star praises Alf Wights kids for advice

All Creatures: Herriot's daughter Rosie shed 'a tear' visiting set

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All Creatures Great and Small continues to be a global hit with Nicholas Ralph playing renowned Yorkshire vet, James Herriot. Season three has seen him tackle married life with his wife Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton). Actor Nicholas spoke to and other press about the advice they were given by Alf’s children.

James and Helen have become closer than ever since they moved in together at Skeldale House.

Helen has finally found her feet at the practice and she has quickly become a valued member of the household.

She and James do have their differences, but they always manage to talk things out and resolve problems quickly.

The two actors have been praised for their portrayals of the much-loved couple and Alf Wight’s children, Jim and Rosie, have given the show their seal of approval.

They have acted as advisors to the cast since day one and have even appeared on set to show their support.


Nicholas recalled the “priceless” advice they had given, especially to Rachel regarding Helen, who is not mentioned as prominently in the books.

He said: “Jim and Rosie are fantastic, it is really priceless having them on board.

“And I know Rach and Rosie have a really good relationship because of course, Helen doesn’t appear in the books as much as the rest of the characters.

“So for me, my number one is the books because, you know, it’s all there really.

“But having that connection with the family as well is priceless.”

He added: “Even if it’s just little things like we asked did they have pet names for one another when they were married? And they said no, they didn’t really actually do that.

“So that was really good because that’s something that could get laughs, you could start, you know, making stuff up there, but they didn’t.”

Rosie and Jim’s advice enabled Nicholas and Rachel to incorporate many small but important details about their relationship.

“Another thing was they said any time that James left the house or Helen to go out, they would always kiss one another before leaving the house, which is just, you know, these little things just make it more authentic.

“Those little touches, I think, are priceless. And for an actor, especially when you’re trying to think of all these things, they’re brilliant things that you can bring to the room as well.”

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In season three, Helen has been helping James with his new role in charge of TB testing.

She is passionate about her husband’s promotion and is keen for him to stay in Darrowby where she feels he belongs.

Alf’s daughter Rosie spoke to Rachel about how her mother always saw the good in people.

Rachel said: “Rosie is always so gracious with her time and her anecdotes and things. I email her frequently, probably more than she wants me to.

“I think there’s a freedom in Helen not being in the books as much in a way, but obviously I want to keep the spirit of Helen truthful.

“I’m always asking specific questions, you know, how would she react in this situation?

“The thing she says usually is she doesn’t take life too seriously but is fiercely protective of her unit and family.

“Ultimately it’s a beautiful love story between James and Helen and their unit, they are a real team.

“We see that more in this series than we have in previous seasons and that’s really nice.”

All Creatures Great and Small airs on Thursdays on Channel 5 at 9pm.

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