BBC1 Unveils Cast For Vet Reboot Young James

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BBC1 has announced the cast for Young James, a new drama inspired by the life of Alf Wight, the vet-turned-author who inspired a run of TV and film productions during the 1970s and 1980s under the pseudonym James Herriot. The lead will be taken by Glasgow actor Iain de Caestecker.

Written by Damian Wayling, Ann McManus and Eileen Gallagher, and directed by Michael Keillor, Young James tells the story of the Herriot character while he was a student at the Glasgow Veterinary College in the Thirties. Unlike the classic series, which sees him plying his trade in the Yorkshire Dales, this series focuses on his formative years as a bright, idealistic young man and follows his exploits with university friends Whirly Tyson and Rob McAloon.

The drama draws on the archive of Wight. This includes the diaries and case notes he kept during his student years, together with the biography written by his son, Jim Wight.

The three-part run is being made by Shed Media drama subsidiary Koco Drama. Cameron Roach, executive producer at Koco said: "The Glasgow Veterinary College of 1933 is an inspired setting for this drama series. The fact that (Herriot) is one of the most loved TV characters of all time will ensure enduring audience appeal. Coupling the authentic period detail of a time of huge change with an outstanding ensemble cast, Young James will be essential viewing."

Gaynor Holmes, executive producer BBC Scotland Drama, says: "Millions of people grew up watching All Creatures Great And Small (The TV series) and the chance to bring the university years of James Herriott to the screen for them, and a whole new generation of fans, is irresistible."

Young James was commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning and will TX Autumn 2011. Shooting on the series began in Glasgow this week.