CHRISTMAS cheer was delivered this week in the form of the ‘heartwarming’ hit TV series All Creatures Great and Small, which is based and filmed in North Yorkshire.

Alongside the one off Christmas Special on Tuesday, the cast's return next year to film another series is being welcomed as a huge post-pandemic tourism boost for the region.

Actor Sam West, who plays vet Siegfried Farnon in the series, said it had been an absolute pleasure from the start and the cast can’t wait to return to to start filming again next year.

He added: "It all felt just right from the very first. Everything pulled together instantly and that’s nothing short of a miracle. The awful thing was there was absolutely no possiblity of getting back together to see the crew who have become real friends. We’re nothing special in that, everyone’s been through the mill this year.

"I am just so pleased we have been able to cheer everyone up a little. That is an honour. Perhaps it shows that we all know now that empathy, care and kindness isn’t so far away if we look for it."

The series, which attracted around six million viewers a week, was based on the globally popular books of North Yorkshire vet James Herriot, written by Thirsk author Alf Wight in the 1970’s. Much of the latest series has been filmed in Grassington, but it is bringing a huge boost for the World of James Herriot Museum in the vet’s former surgery in Thirsk.

Ian Ashton, managing director, said they can’t wait to reopen once pandemic restrictions allow and they’ve already been overwhelmed by the response.

He added: "It’s absolutely brilliant, it is a wonderful show, the characters are true to the books, and we are really looking forward to welcoming people into the museum who may not have seen the original series, it’s a massive boost and we will be reopening as soon as we possibly can."

Sebastian Cardwell, Channel 5 Deputy Director of Programmes, said: "In challenging times, this new adaptation gained a special place in the heart of the British public. With values of community spirit, solidarity and heart-felt compassion, these stories are important ones for us to tell, now more than ever. I’m delighted they will be returning."

Colin Callender, executive producer, added: "All Creatures Great and Small has struck such a chord with audiences worldwide who were hungry for an entertaining, family-friendly show that provided some respite from the complicated and messy times we live in."

Alf Wight's children James Wight and Rosie Page who still live in North Yorkshire said they thought their father would approve of the series. "We have had wonderful feedback from many and various people, telling us how they had derived great comfort from watching the series in these stressful Covid times. We are very hopeful that Series 2 will be equally uplifting and entertaining, and we are greatly looking forward to seeing it. It's an immensely enjoyable adaptation of Dad’s books."

The Christmas Special is repeated on Boxing Day at 7.45pm.