When is the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special on?

Find out when the festive episode will air

A production shot from the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special in season 2
(Image credit: Channel 5)

The end of season 3 saw the looming threat of the Second World War, and now viewers want to know when is the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special on?

Just like fans of the show were asking where is All Creatures Great and Small filmed (opens in new tab) when the most recent series aired this autumn, now attention has turned to the upcoming festive episode. Viewers were left hanging by the emotional end to season 3, setting up the series for it's upcoming fourth season - and in great news for fans it's also confirmed for two more Christmas specials.

This year will see the third Christmas special for the popular Channel 5 drama, and it's a hotly anticipated feature of the Christmas TV schedule (opens in new tab), along with other classics such as Call the Midwife (opens in new tab). So, when is the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special on?

When is the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special on?

The All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special 2022 will air on Friday 23rd December at 9pm on Channel 5. The episode is called 'Merry Bloody Christmas' and is set during the Christmas of 1939 - in the first few months of the Second World War.

It's expected that all of the show's main cast will return to their roles for the festive special, which follows on from All Creatures Great and Small season 3, which finished in October.

See more

Season 3 saw James and Helen get married, while James also stepped up at the veterinary practice in his new role as Siegfried's partner. It was certainly a time of change at Skeldale House, so it's no surprise that viewers are eager to know what the Christmas special will have in store.

Nicholas Ralph - who plays James Herriot - said of this year's special: "The onus is on family and there are a lot of firsts, which is sweet. For James and Helen, it's their first Christmas and also it's the first Christmas for everyone under these wartime circumstances. 

"But there is that wonderful Christmas spirit. My friends say All Creatures is like getting a hug in a television show! Hopefully this year we can bring that uplifting, hopeful, warm, funny but also touching drama that makes people feel good."

All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special plot

The plot for the All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special 2022 will centre on the effects of the Second World War on both the family and the village of Darrowby.

Nicholas Ralph recently shared that this Christmas special will be "very, very different." Speaking to members of the press, he explained: "We'll see more hints towards [WWII] – windows being taped up and different kinds of barricades around. The war effort of recruitment becomes even more apparent.

"Also, we have a group of evacuees arrive as well and one in particular called Eva comes to stay at Skeldale House... [She’s] a Jewish evacuee, so there's obviously the different cultures coming together and different traditions around that time of year as well.

"And also, she brings that complete innocence… The character is about eight or nine years old, so you see it through her eyes and just the huge changes in this little person's life," he continued.

"She's been picked up out of her family home in the city, driven away on this bus with other children and dropped off in this house. And then you see how everyone tries their best to welcome her in and have her settle down."

Co-star Anna Madeley, who plays Audrey Hall, added: "[Eva] brings a lot of joy to the house because it gives everyone a bit of a purpose. I think everyone’s sort of finding their role in the war and working out what they're going to be.

"It gives Mrs Hall something lovely to do, to have someone else to look after in the house. You know, another mouth to feed is a good thing in her eyes. So it's a really lovely storyline – and Ella's brilliant, who plays [Eva]."

Meanwhile, James and Tristan remain torn over whether they should be heading off to war, and Siegfried faces a dilemma when he is called out to ensure that Major Sebright Saunders' injured horse River is fit before a big race.

The plot will set up the show for All Creatures Great and Small season 4, which will air in 2023.

All Creatures Great and Small 2022 Christmas special cast

  • Nicholas Ralph as James Herriot
  • Samuel West as Siegfried Farnon
  • Rachel Shenton as Helen Alderson
  • Callum Woodhouse as Tristan Farnon
  • Anna Madeley as Mrs Audrey Hall
  • Imogen Clawson as Jenny Alderson
  • Tony Pitts as Richard Alderson
  • Patricia Hodge as Mrs Pumphrey

Video of the Week

Ellie Hutchings
Junior Features Writer

Ellie joined Goodto as a Junior Features Writer in 2022 after finishing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, she completed successful work experience placements with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue and the Nottingham Post, and freelanced as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. In 2021, Ellie graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Journalism.