HIT TV show All Creatures Great and Small, based on the life of North Yorkshire vet Alf Wight (James Herriot) has been renewed for two more series, Channel 5 has confirmed.

The second series of the show, filmed largely in the Dales and at Thirsk, proved a massive hit before Christmas – with an average of 4.1 million viewers tuning in.

Now it has been renewed, for not just one more series, but two.

“It is clear that our viewers adore James Herriot’s adventures in Darrowby and so do we at Channel 5. I am looking forward to us all being reunited with the Skeldale House family when series three arrives on our screens this year,” said Channel 5’s Sebastian Cardwell.

The Channel 5 series, based on the bestselling books by former Thirsk vet Alf Wight (who wrote under the pen name James Herriot), follows the adventures of Dales vet James, his boss Siegfried Farnon, Siegfried’s wayward younger brother Tristan, and others who live and work at Skeldale House in the fictional Dales town of Darrowby – loosely based on Thirsk, where Alf Wight lived and worked – in the 1930s.

York Press:

Samuel West as Siegfried

The third series of the show – set in early 1939, with war looming - will start shooting in Yorkshire this spring.

It will once again star Nicholas Ralph as young vet James Herriot, and Samuel West as his mercurial mentor Siegfried Farnon.

Anna Madeley returns as the matriarch of Skeldale House, Mrs Hall, while Callum Woodhouse is Siegfried’s brother Tristan.

Rachel Shenton returns as local farmer (and James’ love interest-turned-wife) Helen Alderson.

“As the prospect of another world war looms large over the Dales, change is afoot for all our Darrowby residents, especially James and Helen, who are embarking on the next chapter of their lives as the wider world around them heads toward a period of great uncertainty,” Channel 5 says.

York Press:

Nicholas Ralph as vet James Herriot has a close encounter with a bull

“A characterful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk living in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1930s will also return, including Patricia Hodge as the wonderfully sophisticated Mrs Pumphrey, and her adored pampered Pekingese Tricki Woo.”

Alf Wight, the real-life vet on whose experiences the books and show (not to mention an earlier TV series starring Christopher Timothy) are based, 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.