All the creatures Big and Small throw Patricia Hodge after the death of Diana Rigg

Miranda star Patricia Hodge has joined the cast of All Channel 5 Big and Small Creatures as Mrs. Pumphrey, following the death of Lady Diana Rigg last year.

Based on the beloved novels by James Herriot, the television series takes place in the 1930s and follows the inhabitants of the quaint Yorkshire village of Darrowby.

Ms. Pumphrey is one of many locals Herriot meets as a veterinarian, who is immediately recognized by her pets Tricki Woo and a person bigger than life.

Ladies Diana Rigg portrayed her in the show’s first series, but sadly passed away in September 2020 after a battle with lung cancer, while the All Creatures team decided to reshape the role, instead of rewriting the character completely.

Executive producer Sir Colin Callender CBE said: “We were deeply saddened by the death of Lady Diane Rigg who will always be a valuable member of the All Creatures family.

“Mrs. Pumphrey and her overly compliant Pekingese, Tricki Woo, are such cult and well-groomed characters in Herriot’s world and we’re glad to welcome the lovely Patricia Hodge to join the company as Mrs. Pumphrey for the second series.”

Earlier, there was uncertainty about what the character’s future would be like, and the producers were talking that they were still weighing their options in December.

Hodge will be known to fans of British television, after he played Miranda Hart’s mother in the comedian of the same name and later took on a role in Hugh Laurie’s Roadkill, Hugh Grant’s A Very English Scandal and ITV’s drama Downton Abbey.

Channel 5 also announced that Dorothy Atkinson (Call Midwife) will join the All Creatures team as Diana Brompton, the woman who captures Siegfried Farnon at the local Church Hall Dance, while Dibley’s vicar James Fleet will appear as Colonel Merrick, a military man and local farmer.

Of course, the lead cast of Nicholas Ralph, Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Callum Woodhouse and Rachel Shenton will also return, three of whom will be able to be seen in this first picture from the set as filming takes place in Yorkshire.

All two big creations and a small series will show six more episodes whose premiere is expected on Channel 5 this fall, followed by another Christmas special after last year’s festive offer was a seasonal hit.

All of the Big and Small creatures return to Channel 5 later this year. Watch the rest of our drama or visit our TV guide to see what’s going on tonight.