A BRADFORD theatre school has provided many of the cast members for the new series of All Creatures Great and Small.

Filming on series two is underway in the district, with Patricia Hodge replacing the late Dame Diana Rigg as eccentric Mrs Pumphrey.

Scenes for the hit Channel 5 drama, based on the books by Yorkshire vet Alf Wight, writing as James Herriot, were shot in Little Germany last month. Nicholas Ralph, who plays Herriot, was spotted with other cast members, includes youngsters and adult supporting artists from Bradford theatre school Articulate.

The new series, plus a Christmas special, is expected to air later this year. Patricia Hodge, star of Miranda and A Very English Scandal, has been revealed as Mrs Pumphrey, owner of pampered Pekingese Tricki Woo, and her home in the show is Broughton Hall near Skipton. Filming is also taking place at Kettlewell and Grassington.

Mrs Pumphrey had been played by Diana Rigg, who died last September. Sir Colin Callender, executive producer and CEO of Playground, which is producing the series, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the exceptional response to the first series and are very appreciative of the support from Channel 5, Masterpiece, All3Media and Screen Yorkshire who have enabled us to return to Darrowby so that audiences can once again enjoy the company of the beloved inhabitants of Skeldale House.

"We were deeply saddened by the passing of Dame Diana Rigg who will always be a treasured member of the All Creatures family. Mrs Pumphrey and her overly indulged Tricki Woo are such iconic and cherished characters in Herriot’s world and we are delighted to welcome the wonderful Patricia Hodge for series two."

The cast also includes Samuel West, son of Bradford-born actor Timothy West, as James’s unconventional mentor Siegfried Farnon, Callum Woodhouse as Siegfried’s errant brother Tristan Farnon. Series two also sees the return of Horsforth actor Matthew Lewis, who was in the Harry Potter films, as Hugh Hulton, who returns to Darrowby after some reflective time abroad.

Youngsters from Articulate appeared in the first series of the popular drama. Principal Stacey Burrows said: "We have one child joining the cast for this series, in a speaking role. We're also being used exclusively for child extras and we're one of the main adult actor suppliers. Lots of them were in the Little Germany scenes filmed recently. The kids have just had a great two days filming in Grassington."

In the new episodes viewers can expect more heartwarming Dales stories with a colourful ensemble of farmers, animals and townsfolk in 1930s Yorkshire.