Herriot, whose real name was Alf Wight, had his first book published in 1970, around 30 years after he began work at a practice in Thirsk. Within five years it was being turned into a feature film, with Simon Ward cast in his image. John Alderton played him in a sequel the following year.
But it was the long-running BBC adaptation with Christopher Timothy and Robert Hardy as the older vet, Siegfried Farnon, that sealed Herriot’s immortality. All Creatures Great and Small went off the air in 1990 but a remake, with Nicholas Ralph, is due to air on Channel 5 later this year.
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
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James Mitchinson, Editor