Interview with Rachel Shenton from All Creatures Great and Small, aka Helen Herriot

At its core, like Made in Dagenham, it is a story about the industry’s undervaluing of female excellence, and as Shenton describes it, it brings tears to your eyes.

“It’s a bit of a love letter to Stoke, really,” she says, smiling and crying. “Sorry! I just really loved this story. I love this time. It’s a celebration of pottery and an industry rich in artistry and craftsmanship. My grandmother said that when she first picked up a brush, she knew she wanted to do this for the rest of her life.” life. It’s an art. They trained for years, but they never earned the right to become artists.”

Shenton is so devoted to her “unfairly maligned” hometown (even though she lives in central London) that it is perhaps unsurprising that she didn’t set foot in Yorkshire until she worked there for the first time in 2019. for the television rom-com A Very Yorkshire Christmas, she played an American soprano who falls in love with a Yorkshireman and a Yorkshireman. “Did you see this?” she says, shocked to hear about it. “My mom loves it. He is very popular in America.”

The same goes, of course, for All Creatures, which airs on PBS and has amassed a huge following in the States. “When we film in Grassington, it’s a bit like working in live theater because all the fans are literally watching what’s happening. They bring beach chairs and stay all day.”

Having won one of the film industry’s highest awards for a film she wrote, is she ever tempted to contribute to the script, perhaps suggesting for a change that veterinarians don’t always save every animal?

“No! No, I don’t know! I like writing. Sometimes when I read in the script that the calf is in trouble, I’ll run ahead and say, ‘Come on, James.’ And that’s okay, it’s all good. I like it. I I can’t bear it any other way.” She pauses. “You don’t want me to cry again.

The fourth series of All Creatures Great and Small will begin on Channel 5 on Thursday at 9pm.

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