All Creatures Great and Small: Helen Alderson star opens up on ‘scary’ bull scene

All Creatures Great and Small: Season 2's happy ending

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Rachel Shenton plays Helen Alderson in the latest reimagining of All Creatures Great and Small. The second series of the hit Channel 5 drama is out now, following the adventures of young vet James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph). While filming the period drama, Rachel has had a few close encounters with animals and has recalled one that was “a little scary”.

In a recent interview, Rachel opened up about her experiences of playing Helen in the popular period drama.

Speaking about her love of the character, the actress remarked: “She is a joy to play!”

The series is based on the All Creatures Great and Small books, a collection of stories written by James Alfred Wight under the pen name James Herriot, based on his experiences as a veterinary surgeon.

Rachel revealed she looked back at the books as a reference point for her character, Helen.

“In the stories we meet Helen through James,” she explained.

Despite loving her role in the series, Rachel confessed there were some challenging moments when filming.

When asked if there were any scenes she found hard to tackle, the actress recalled the first time she starred alongside a bull.

In the scene, Helen finds herself in difficulty when her champion bull, Clive, struggles to mate with Mr Dobson’s (Jon Furlong) cows.

The cattle farmer was unimpressed when Helen’s bull failed to perform and as a result she had to enlist the help of new vet James.

Looking back on her time filming with the animal, Rachel confessed to being taken aback by its size.

“Some of the scenes with the bull were a little scary initially, but I enjoyed it,” she explained.

However, that wasn’t the only challenge the actress faced while filming All Creatures Great and Small.

Helen laughed: “I’d say the minus degree temperatures were the hardest thing to tackle.

“Everything else was quite straight forward,” she confessed.

Rachel also highlighted the pressures of playing a character based on a real person.

The actress explained she’s been lucky enough to chat to Rosie Page, the daughter of Joan and Alfred Wight (the real Helen and James).

Speaking about Rosie, Rachel said: “She’s been brilliant with giving me nuggets of wisdom about her mum to help me get the essence of her.

“It’s always a responsibility when taking on a new role, especially if it’s a real person, but I’m thankful to have been so well supported,” she told Viewties Magazine.

All Creatures Great and Small season two has now come to an end, with its finale leaving viewers excited for another series.

All Creatures Great and Small is available to stream on My5.

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