THE heartfelt tributes to Robert Hardy, who died this week, were also testament to the public’s affinity with All Creatures Great and Small which was filmed in God’s own county.
The actor, together with co-stars Christopher Timothy and Peter Davison, left big boots to fill because their portrayal of a rural veterinary practice, inspired by author Alf Wight’s books depicting James Herriot, was so realistic and resonated with viewers.
Yet, to its credit, the BBC’s Countyfile series has helped, over the years, to fill the void and is the one programme on terrestrial TV that remains committed to highlighting, and championing, issues pertaining to farming, food production and the natural environment.
And it is thanks, in no small part, to the enthusiasm of presenters like Adam Henson who brings rural issues to life.
Though he says he has been accused by some viewers for ‘dumbing down’ the more technical terms – farming is a language in itself – critics should be thankful that there’s still a series on Sunday nights, just like All Creatures Great and Small all those decades ago, that still takes the countryside to the people. Long may this be the case.