All Creatures Great and Small boss details off the charts real-life Siegfried Farnon

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

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All Creatures Great and Small is the popular Channel 5 drama that follows the adventures and hardships of James Herriot (played by Nicholas Ralph) he is trained as a veterinarian by Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). The character of Siegfried is based on a real person, Donald Sinclair, and the show’s head writer Ben Vanstone revealed the “extreme” stories that he heard when writing the adaptation of the 90s show.

Whilst writing the adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, Ben had to do some extensive research on the original series to make sure it was as accurate as possible.

The original series based the character of Siegfried on veterinarian Donald Sinclair who Ben said had a lot of stories over the years.

In the series, Siegfried is the most eccentric out of all the characters, however, it turned out that Donald was way more excitable to outgoing than the character.

Looking back at the inspiration for Siegfried, Ben told Masterpiece: “Some of their Donald Sinclair stories were just off the charts.

“They showed me the hole in the wall made by Donald Sinclair, he had people around for dinner, and they wouldn’t leave, so he got so fed up, he pulled out a shotgun and fired it into the wall!

“Yeah, he just went, [makes a blasting sound] ‘Get out!’ and chased them out, if you were to write it, you’d feel that it’s a bit too much, he’s a bit over the top,” he explained.

Ben continued: “And there’s another story I kind of want to get in somewhere, which is that he once took a horse with him to dinner.

“He was looking after a horse, and he needed to keep an eye on it, so he took it with him to dinner at someone’s house, just tied it up by the window so he could keep checking on it, and still have his meal.

“He was an extreme character. He was out there. Jim and Rosie had a few of those stories, which were always great, and they’d always say that their dad played Donald down rather than up.

“So they’d always say that he was bigger than the Siegfried of the books. And as soon as you’re told that, you kind of feel released, a little bit, to write Siegfried how you want to write.

“But can you imagine, a moment where he does that at the dinner table would be almost a little bit too unhinged for our show,” he said.

Donald Sinclair died when he was 84 in 1995, just four months after the death of his former veterinary partner, Alf Wright.

Samuel West plays the role of Siegfried in the Channel 5 series and has previously opened up about his experience playing the iconic character.

He explained on the Talkshire Podcast: “I should say that this is one of the things I’m most proud of.

“Not only to be working at a time when many of my friends aren’t but to be doing such a great part in such an iconic story that means so much to people.

“Not just in Yorkshire, but all over the world, Siegfried is a man who marches to the beat of his own drum,” he praised.

Samuel described Siegfried as a “very layered man” despite his short temper with people.

“I think he’s fairly shameless. He is almost entirely without guile, very short-tempered, but doesn’t bear grudges [and] quite absent-minded, irascible, but deep down very loving.

“He can be very irascible, but he absolutely adores horses.”

All Creatures Great and Small is available to watch on Channel 5.

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