All Creatures Great and Small young actress Imogen Clawson on playing Jenny Alderson while a pupil at Harrogate Grammar School

Harrogate teenager Imogen Clawson, who stars as Helen’s younger sister Jenny Alderson in All Creatures Great and Small, tells Stephanie Smith how she loves her character’s feisty spirit.

Imogen Clawon, right, with Rachel Shenton on set in Grassington, which is dressed as Darrowby.
Imogen Clawon, right, with Rachel Shenton on set in Grassington, which is dressed as Darrowby.

Harrogate teenager Imogen Clawson will play a key role as would-be matchmaker in the second series of All Creatures Great and Small, which launches tonight on Channel 5.

Imogen, 14, reprises her role as Jenny Alderson, starring alongside Rachel Shenton as her elder sister, Helen Alderson, plus Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot, Anna Madeley as Mrs Hall, Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon and Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon.

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She says she is delighted with how her character is growing as the storylines develop. “Jenny is now a young teenager and she’s become more independent,” says Imogen. “She has a cheeky streak which you’ll see during Season Two. She still wants to work on the farm as well as showing an interest in the veterinary practice.”

Imogen as Jenny with Scruff played by Bobby.

Imogen says that viewers will soon come to love Jenny’s dog, Scruff. “Scruff is so cute and one of Jenny’s storylines involves some trouble with Scruff. James helps Jenny out and offers to train Scruff. Jenny is also seen a lot with her sister Helen and her Dad and new storylines develop around the Alderson family.

“I adore Jenny’s wit and assertiveness. I also love how fun she is and how she doesn’t want to be caught up in school work. She wants to live a free life on the farm, working and caring for the animals. She looks up to James and the other vets and always wants to help out with the animals.”

Jenny plays a key role in tonight’s first episode when James helps her train Scruff who has been worrying sheep on a nearby farm.

Nicholas Ralph explained that this cemented the friendship between Jenny and James, adding: “She is totally on his side. It’s a really lovely relationship in the story. Jenny has a keen interest in the animals and that side of things and James is more than happy to teach her. Imogen, who plays Jenny, is brilliant. It was her first job, as well as being my first TV job, and she’s a joy to work with.”

Jenny (Imogen Clawson) and James (Nicholas Ralph) with naughty Scruff.

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“After the winter lockdown, it felt great to be back on the set of All Creatures and be filming in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Every time we’re on set it’s always fun and it’s like one big family. It was fab to meet up with everyone again, especially Rachel, Nick, Tony Pitt (my Dad in All Creatures), Sam, Anna and Callum.”

When not on set in the Dales, Imogen is a pupil at Harrogate Grammar School. She says: “My school has been extremely supportive with the whole experience and all the teachers have made it easy for me to keep up to date with my school work.

“The head teacher also loves the show. Harrogate Grammar has a great drama department and their reactions have been super-positive as well. I’m starting my GCSEs this September and I can’t wait for my drama classes.”

When tonight’s Season Two first episode - called Where the Heart is - airs, it is spring 1938 and three months will have passed since the end of Series One. A trip back home to Glasgow presents James with a dilemma that will mean choosing between the people he loves. As Helen and James navigate their feelings for one another, Siegfried, Tristan and Mrs Hall are also forced to consider their places in the world, while James must decide between supporting his family or following his heart.

In tonight’s episode, expect to see sparks fly between James and Helen Alderson, who left Hugh Hulton at the altar at the end of the Christmas episode. Meanwhile, Tristan tends to a budgerigar (let’s just say that this does not go according to plan) and Mrs Hall tackles Siegfried about a rather big lie he told his brother. Look out too for fabulous scenes set in Skeldale House as Mrs Hall and Siegfried argue.

Imogen says: “The cast and crew are amazing and I learned lots from everyone involved in the show. I can’t wait to see how Jenny develops, and all the other characters. I’m sure you’ll love the show even more.”

* All Creatures returns to Channel 5 tonight, Thursday, September 16, at 9pm.