Early Days of Animal Magic; Iain De Caestecker Has Landed His Biggest Role in a New BBC Drama Showing How James Herriot Came to Be a Vet. Lisa Williams Speaks to the Actor
Byline: Lisa Williams
SAY the words All Creatures Great And Small to anyone who lived through the Eighties and two images will immediately jump to mind: actor Christopher Timothy with his hand up the backside of a cow and some beautiful North Yorkshire scenery.
The series, which followed the trials and tribulations of country vet James Herriot in the fictional town of Darrowby and surrounds, was based on the semi-autobiographical books of James 'Alf ' Wight.
But although the real-life vet spent his working life in Yorkshire, he actually grew up in Glasgow.
His early years in the Scottish city come under the spotlight in Young James Herriot, a three-part drama about Herriot training to be a vet at The Glasgow Veterinary College.
Rising star Iain de Caestecker takes on the role made famous first by Simon Ward in the film adaptation of the books, then by Timothy in the TV series.
As an animal-loving Glaswegian, de Caestecker - who first appeared on screen at the age of 13 playing Adam Barlow in Coronation Street - already felt an affinity with the aspiring vet.
So he couldn't believe it when, while researching for the role, he discovered that he and Wight even went to the same school.
The 23-year-old actor explains: "I found out that I went to the primary school at the secondary school he went to.
The actor was last seen on screen in supernatural drama The Fades in which he sounded like any English teenager but his natural speaking voice is a gentle Glaswegian brogue.
"Not many people know that Wight had a Scottish accent and that he grew up in Glasgow. A lot more people recognise the Yorkshire side to his accent instead," says Iain.
"Ours is maybe a truer version of how he sounded ." The action is certainly not confined to Herriot's tutorials, as de Caestecker reveals that the aspiring vet is out and about as much as he's allowed.
"There are a lot of scenes in the college which give a different slant to the story, but he's far more excited about being hands-on," he says. …