Belfast Telegraph

Actor's links with young Herriot

Iain de Caestecker discovered he had lots in common with the man who was the inspiration for James Herriot when he was cast as the young vet on the small screen.

Rising star Iain takes on the role made famous first by Simon Ward in the film adaptation, then by Christopher Timothy in the TV series All Creatures Great And Small, both based on the semi-autobiographical books of James 'Alf' Wight.

As an animal-loving Glaswegian, Iain - who first appeared on screen at the age of 13 playing Adam Barlow in Coronation Street - already felt an affinity with the aspiring vet.

So he couldn't believe it when, while researching for the role, he discovered that he and Wight even went to the same school.

The 23-year-old actor explained: "I found out that I went to the primary school at the secondary school he went to. Even though he came from a totally different time from me, I found a lot of similarities, which was cool."

The actor was last seen on screen in supernatural drama The Fades in which he sounded like any English teenager but his natural speaking voice is a gentle Glaswegian brogue.

"Not many people know that Wight had a Scottish accent and that he grew up in Glasgow. A lot more people recognise the Yorkshire side to his accent instead," he said.

"Ours is maybe a truer version of how he sounded as even his granddaughter said he had a Scottish accent his whole life, although it wasn't very strong."

:: Young James Herriot begins on BBC One on Sunday, December 18.

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