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All Creatures Great and Small: see the cast at the start of their careers – best photos

From Samuel West to Rachel Shenton, see the stars' early roles


Patricia Hodge, Samuel West, Callum Woodhouse© Shutterstock/ITV
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
June 20, 2024
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The cast of All Creatures Great and Small are familiar faces on our screens thanks to the popular Channel 5 period drama, which has become an autumn staple on our TV screens since it premiered in 2020. But before landing roles in the Yorkshire-set series, Rachel Shenton, Samuel West and their co-stars found fame in other TV roles. 

Here, HELLO! takes a look at the stars at the beginning of their acting careers…

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Nicholas Ralph now and then© Channel 5

Nicholas Ralph

While All Creatures may have been Nicholas' first small-screen role, he made his film debut in the 2021 biographical drama, The Most Reluctant Convert. 

The Scottish actor played a young C. S. Lewis in the biopic, which was released the same year All Creatures arrived on our screens. 

Nicholas, 34, auditioned for All Creatures just two years after graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He'd previously starred in theatre productions for the Royal Conservatoire, the Citizens Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland. 

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Rachel Shenton now and then© Channel 5/BBC

Rachel Shenton

While her portrayal of Helen Alderson may be her most notable role to date, Rachel made her name as a soap star. 

A few years before the 36-year-old rose to fame as Mitzeee Minniver in Hollyoaks, she portrayed mischievous teenager Courtney in Waterloo Road. Since then, the actress has appeared in various TV series, including Switched at Birth, White Gold, and For Her Sins

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Samuel West now and then© Channl 5/Shutterstock

Samuel West

While Samuel boasts an impressive list of TV and film credits, including Notting Hill, The Darkest Hour, Mr Selfridge, and The Crown, his first major big-screen role was Leonard Bast in the 1992 adaptation of Howard's End

The actor was nominated for a BAFTA in the Best Supporting Actor category for his breakout role, which was followed by a string of parts in major films and TV series. 

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Anna Madeley now and then © Channel 5/ITV

Anna Madeley

Long before she landed the role of Mrs Hall in All Creatures, Anna made her TV debut in the popular ITV series Cold Feet. The London-born actress appeared in one episode, playing the part of Emma. 

Just a few years later, Anna scored her first starring TV role in the period medical drama The Royal, playing Nurse Samantha. From there, she went on to appear in various popular shows, including Mr Selfridge, Poirot, The Crown, Silent Witness, and Anatomy of a Scandal.

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Callum Woodhouse now and then© Shutterstock/ITV

Callum Woodhouse

While Callum made his name playing Leslie Durrell in the ITV period drama, The Durrells, starring alongside Keeley Hawes and Josh O'Connor, his first major role came in 2016 when he appeared in ITV's Cold Feet. 

The Durham-born star portrayed Karen and David's son Josh Marsden in the series. He went on to appear in an episode of Father Brown before landing his role in All Creatures. 

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Patricia Hodge now and then© Channel 5/Shutterstock

Patricia Hodge

Patricia is a household name thanks to her illustrious TV and film career. While she's best known for her roles in Rumpole of the Bailey, Jemima Shore Investigates, and Miranda, one of her first major TV roles came in 1975 when she played a ballet teacher in the TV film, The Naked Civil Servant.

The 77-year-old, who was awarded an OBE for her services to drama in 2017, also boasts an impressive list of theatre credits and won an Olivier Award in 2000 for her role in the play Money.

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