All Creatures Great and Small: Who is Nicholas Ralph, the actor who plays James Herriot in the hit Channel 5 TV show?

For his role as James Herriot in All Creatures Great and Small, Nicholas Ralph trained in vet procedures to help accurately portray the character.

Nicholas Ralph. (Pic credit: Channel 5)
Nicholas Ralph. (Pic credit: Channel 5)

The 2020 remake of the television show All Creatures Great and Small is based on a series of partly-autobiographical books written by Yorkshire vet, Alf Wright, featuring fictional character James Herriot and his partners in a veterinary practice in North Yorkshire between the 1930s and 1960s.

The first season of the show attracted more than 30 million viewers.

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James Herriot is played by Scottish actor, Nicholas Ralph, who returned for the second season of the show as the lead role. Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who is Nicholas Ralph?

The 31-year-old actor was born in Cape Town, South Africa, before his family moved to Scottish Highlands, where he grew up.

When he was younger, he played football for Ross Country from when he was in primary school until he was 15 years old.

He studied drama at Inverness College and again at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The audition for the role of James Herriot came two years after graduating.

He has had experience as a stage actor for a number of plays with the Royal Conservatoire, the Citizens Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland, as well as an appearance on the BBC Radio Scotland production of Kidnapped.

His part in All Creatures Great and Small was his first starring role and to ensure accuracy of the role, Nicholas was required to train in vet surgeries.

In the original 1978 series of the show, the actor who played James Herriot was instructed to keep his accent ‘neutral’ for universality, however, this has since changed as Nicholas uses his genuine Scottish accent for the role.