All Creatures Great & Small‘s Rachel Shenton has become a household name in Yorkshire due to her wonderful performance as the popular Helen Herriot from Channel 5’s reboot. But, before she became the straight talking Yorkshire Dales farmer, Shenton has led a successful career from starring as Mitzeee Minniver in teen soap Hollyoaks to becoming an Academy Award winner.
All Creatures Great and Small has become one of the channels most popular shows brining in a viewership of 3.8M for the third series of All Creatures was watched . Shenton’s portrayal of Helen Herriot, previously known as Alderson, is a likeable farmer’s daughter who’s fiercely independent and not afraid to get her hands dirty. She brings a warmth to the role, which is in part why fans of the show must have taken them into their hearts so easily.
Before she was a Yorkshire Dales poster gal, she’s originally from Stoke and has featured in the popular soap Hollyoaks from 2010 to 2013. In August 2017 created and co-produced as well as appearing in short film The Silent Child, which was based on Shenton’s own experience as the child of a parent who became deaf. The film one best short film at Rhode Island International Film Festival and was nominated and won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Shenton went on to sign her acceptance speech as a promise made to young lead actress Maisie Sly.
Shenton first appeared in her now iconic role as Helen Alderson in Channel 5’s All Creatures Great and Small in September 2020. Her first scene we saw her dragging a two-ton bull by its nose ring whilst Herriot fresh in the Dales looked lept on to a dry stone wall.
Helen’s role is become central to the story, which can in no small part be thanks to Shenton’s warmth that she brings to the role and the chemistry with her TV husband James Herriot played by Nicholas Ralph.
Speaking about her character Shenton has said: “I feel very protective of Helen… “I love her spirit and grit. Our adaptation is obviously for a 21st-century audience, so the women are three-dimensional. We understand and know their lives away from their romantic relationships, which is far more interesting,” The Telegraph reports.
One of Shenton’s performances we have particularly enjoyed, and one that is sure to be on our screens again soon is in A Very Yorkshire Christmas. Filmed in God’s Own Country itself (the entirety of it, despite what the movie poster would suggest!), A Very Yorkshire Christmas provides the ultimate Christmas cheese alongside fantastic Yorkshire scenery. Rachel Shenton takes the main role of Jessica, in this Christmas rom com.
We have enjoyed the series been back on our teles and enjoy the development of Helen’s character and how she has found her place in the new household away from the farm.