Yorkshire's TV workers talk about Channel 5's new All Creatures Great and Small
The wait will be over tonight (Tuesday), though, when the first episode airs on Channel 5 at 9pm.
As well as reinvigorating the much-loved James Herriot tales that are held so dear by people across the country, Yorkshire's own screen workers, young actors and tourism bosses are also reaping the benefits of the programme, which was filmed in areas such as Grassington and Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales.
Pontefract-based makeup designer Lisa Parkinson's career started 20 years ago with work experience at what is now Leeds Playhouse before getting trainee jobs with shows like Where the Heart Is and Emmerdale, and recently she has worked on shows such as Ackley Bridge, which is filmed in Halifax.
But Mrs Parkinson sees All Creatures Great and Small as a big chance to show off the region.
She said: "I chased the job because I just wanted to show Yorkshire from a Yorkshire person's point of view - the beauty of Yorkshire and the people of Yorkshire, which I love."
Mrs Parkinson put lots of research into the style of the 1930s - the period the show is set in - and went to the job interview with her family's old photo albums, which she based her ideas on, and impressed producers.
As a designer, she collaborated with the producer Richard Burrell and directors - Andy Hay and Brian Percival shared duties - to make sure the look of the show is just right.
She said: "With James Herriot, it took us two or three goes at his hair to find the right one for the camera and the period to bring out his very good looks, and not to make him look too modern."
Mrs Parkinson, 50, said that in 1930s Yorkshire there were few people with long hair - due to the previous 1920s style but also because it was dangerous for farm workers - meaning some on set had to sacrifice their locks.
One such person was featured artist Hattie Edkins, aged 13, who had 17 inches of hair chopped off to suit the show's style. In the process raised £700 for the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for poorly young people.
The Ryburn Valley High School pupil said: "I just said straight away ‘I’ll do it’ because it’s a dream role and dream series to be in – but I would only do it if my hair could go to good use."
It was an ideal set to work on for the youngster, who raises ewes, lambs, goats and other animals on her family's smallholding near Sowerby Bridge, and whose back-up career, if acting does not go to plan, is to become a vet just like Herriot.
She said: "I absolutely love it. I've always had pets since I was born. I don't think I would change it for anything else in the world."
Speaking about the show, she said it was the favourite job she has done, from a list that includes Gentleman Jack, Last Tango in Halifax and a voiceover part in Downton Abbey.
She said: "I loved watching the main cast in action, they were really professional and I learned so much about the acting process from seeing them on set. Cast and crew, everyone was so friendly and even when the weather was bad, we all danced to keep warm."
Another young actress from the region who appears on the show is Harrogate Grammar pupil Imogen Clawson, also 13, who plays Jenny Alderson, the little sister of Helen.
She was excited because her parents Jenny and Fergus, and grandparents, had told her about the original shows.
Imogen, who has been acting since she was eight, said: "I was ecstatic because it was my first audition ever. We didn't really know what we were going into."
Her favourite part was working alongside other actors and the animals, and she said she feels proud to be in a local production.
The World of James Herriot in Thirsk is also hoping that the series will help bring a new generation of fans.
The centre, based at the former home and practice of Alf Wight (aka Herriot) where he wrote his books, has memorabilia from the original BBC drama starring Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison, and has been talking to the production company Playground about the new show for a long time.
Ian Ashton, managing director, said: "We hope families will watch it with their children so a whole new generation gets to know about Alf Wight."
The centre at 23 Kirkgatehas reopened after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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