Sneak peak at All Creatures Great And Small
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All Creatures Great and Small season two is back on TV on Channel 5 and fans were thrilled to see their favourite characters return to Darrowby. Sadly actress Dame Diana Rigg, who played the eccentric Mrs Pumphrey, died shortly after the first season was filmed. Actor Nicholas Ralph spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about working with the star.
All Creatures Great and Small season two has left viewers with plenty of smiles as Yorkshire vet James finally formed a romantic relationship with Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton).
He has faced many challenges since he returned from Glasgow, having received a job offer at a plush practice back home.
The talented vet has faced each obstacle with determination and he helped one of his most loyal clients.
Mrs Pumphrey, the owner of the charismatic Pekingese Tricki-Woo, was played by Diana Rigg in the first season.
Sadly the actress died in September 2020, aged 82, after a battle with lung cancer.
Nicholas Ralph told Express.co.uk he had loved working with the talented actress.
He said: “It was really sad last year to hear the news about Dame Diana.
“And what a privilege it was just to have the opportunity to work with her, she was fantastic.”
Back in September 2020, on the day Rigg died, Ralph paid tribute to the star on Twitter.
Sharing a photo of the pair working together, he said: “It was an honour to work with Dame Diana last year in the Yorkshire Dales.
“Any intimidation you may have felt was completely washed away instantly because she was so lovely to chat with and had such vitality.
“What an incredible career – one of the greats.”
Seigfried Farnon actor Sam West also paid tribute, adding: “Tonight’s #AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall is the last appearance of Diana Rigg as Mrs Pumphrey, in what was her final film role.
“Feel very lucky, as the whole cast did, to have that connection to a great sixty-year classical career.
“Hope you can join us to say farewell tonight #ACGAS.” Her final episode aired on September 22.
Instead of writing the fan-favourite character out completely, the creators of the series chose to recast the role.
Patricia Hodge has featured as the character in season two and she has been praised for making the role her own.
Ralph told Express.co.uk: “Patricia Hodge is just brilliant, she made the character completely her own which is great.
“The first time I was with her on set and the way her relationship with Derek, the little dog who plays Tricki- Woo was just brilliant.
“It was almost like a ventriloquist dummy, it was so funny I was struggling to keep it together.
“But yeah she has just come in and made the character her own.
“I love the fun aspect of the show and she is a great part of this, a great addition.”
Actress Rigg starred as Mother Dorothea in Black Narcissus, during a posthumous release in 2020.
Mrs Pumphrey was her last acting job before she died and she starred in two episodes.
All Creatures Great and Small airs on Channel 5 on Thursdays at 9pm.
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