All Creatures Great and Small Siegfried star details excruciating accident on set

All Creatures Great and Small: Season two trailer

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The Channel Five drama is based on a series of books written by veterinary surgeon James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) after he moved to the Dales to care for the farm animals and pets of the locals. Fans are delighted to have it back for new instalments, but All Creatures Great and Small actor Samuel West ended up in “excruciating” pain after filming a scene on the show.

During one of the last scenes he’d been filming, the 55-year-old stumbled and ended up snapping his Achilles tendon.

He explained: “I still don’t know how I did it, but I trotted out, twisted something in my leg, and snapped my Achilles tendon.

“It was excruciating, but I was so aware that the scene had to be ‘in the can’ to finish shooting, that I went on for a short while with it strapped up simply, and then they had to devise a way of getting me on screen, fairly static, and from the waist up.

“The result is that, in order for it all to heal, I’ve been in a leg cast for about four months.”

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, he added: “You just have to grin – and limp on with it.”

Samuel also disclosed another challenge he faced while filming – how to smoke a pipe.

“So few people do these days, but Siegfried loves his briar, so I had to learn to handle the thing as well.

“Very odd, because it’s a strange ‘prop’. You have it in your mouth, and you also use it to gesture with your hands, and then there’s that thing of saying the right word as you breathe, and on the proper pause.

“To add to all of that, I gave up smoking 15 years ago.”

Siegfried owns the veterinary practice at Skeldale House and hired James to work with him.

It took some time, but eventually the two began to warm to each other after a frosty start.

Series one’s central focus was on Siegfried’s role as a surgeon and how it affected his relationship with his brother Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse).

To practice how to smoke for the series, he explained he’d go to his garden, fill a bowl with a tobacco-free mix and “puff away”.

He described it as a pleasant thing to do, admitting he found it soothing.

“But there’s no way I’m going to take it up full time,” he added.

So far in series two, it seems love could be on the cards for the character.

Diana Brompton (Dorothy Atkinson) is set to catch the surgeon’s attention.

With the second season proving just as popular as the first, the show’s writer Ben Vanstone recently updated fans of the drama’s future.

Speaking at the screening of the series, he said: “Yes, I think we are looking forward to a third series. I don’t think that’s a surprise.

“We were writing this series before the first series had gone out, so we weren’t really aware of how it would go down and what the reaction would be.”

All Creatures Great and Small airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Channel 5.

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