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All Creatures Great And Small is coming to Channel 5 for a 2020 adaptation of the beloved series of books, starting this evening (September 1). The books were penned by Alf Wight, a Yorkshire vet who was best known by his pen name, James Herriot. Fans are keen to find out more about Samuel West, the actor who plays Siegfried Farnon in the 2020 series.
Who is Siegfried actor Samuel West?
All Creatures Great And Small follows the story of budding vet James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) who moves to Yorkshire to find work.
He receives an interview opportunity for a vet assistant job at Siegfried Farnon’s practice and is offered the job.
The start of the series follows the pair as they navigate their working relationship, which is tested in many ways.
Farnon’s character is based on the real-life Donald Sinclair, who employed Herriot when he moved to Yorkshire.
The character is played by Samuel West, a 54-year-old English actor and theatre director.
West is known for his directing work both on stage and in radio, and he has worked as an actor across all platforms.
He appears as a reciter with orchestras and performed at Last Night of the Proms back in 2002.
His voice may be recognised by fans as he has narrated a number of documentary series.
The London-born actor is from a family of thespians including his famous father Timothy West, who is known for his roles in Not Going Out, Coronation Street and EastEnders.
His mother is Prunella Scales, an actress best known for her role as Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers.
West started out on stage and made his theatre debut at the Orange Tree Theatre in London in 1989.
His first film role in Reunion also came in the same year. He has also featured in Howards End, Rupert’s Land and Darkest Hour.
West’s TV roles include episodes of Death in Paradise, The Crown and Mr Selfridge.
He has been nominated for countless accolades over the years and has won a total of six awards across his career.
The star is in a relationship with English playwright Laura Wade, and they have two children.
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The actor is on Twitter and shared a photo of his character Siegfried along with the new series announcement.
In the new series, his character is known for being the outspoken professional, but he is one of the most hilarious characters and brings plenty of smiles.
He is in charge of the Skeldale House veterinary practice and he has a huge reputation in The Dales.
Speaking about how he prepared for the role, West said: “As part of our research we went to see some horses because Siegfried is a very good horse vet and I listened to a horse’s heartbeat which only beats between 30-40 times a minute which seems so slow. It was an incredible moment.”
He said he has always loved the books and he read several of them as a child.
He revealed he had spent time with the real Alf Wight’s children, Jim and Rosie, before filming.
Reflecting on what they added to his character, he said: “Speaking to Rosie and Jim, Alf Wight’s children, made me think there is a real person in there.
“They told me a story that was very important which was that he got bored during a dinner party once and picked up a double-barrelled shotgun and blasted it into the wall to make people go home. So I thought, ‘yeah, I like this man.’”
Fans will quickly learn that Siegfried likes animals more than he likes people, but that will not stop them from falling in love with his character.
All Creatures Great And Small airs on Tuesdays on Channel 5, at 9pm
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