Patricia Hodge 'wiped her mind' of the late Diana Rigg's 'All Creatures Great And Small' role

Patricia Hodge in her new role as Mrs Pumphrey. (Channel 5)

Patricia Hodge has said she had to "wipe her mind" of the late Dame Diana Rigg's All Creatures Great And Small role when she took it over this series.

Calendar Girls star Hodge, 74, will make her debut as Mrs Pumphrey in the Channel 5 reboot of the Dales vet drama this month.

Read more: All Creatures Great And Small – all you need to know about series 2

Dame Diana appeared in the role for two episodes last year before she passed away aged 82 in September 2020.

Talking about how to make the role her own, Hodge admitted she had had to make a conscious effort not to think about Dame Diana's portrayal.

Dame Diana Rigg passed away in 2020. (Getty)
Dame Diana Rigg passed away in 2020. (Getty)

She said: “I think particularly in this case you can’t have other people sitting on your shoulders, you have to let the scripts speak to you.

"It was by chance last year that the first episode I watched had Dame Diana in it, and then I went back to the beginning."

Hodge continued: “When I was asked to take on the role, I wiped my mind of anything I previously saw and took my interpretation from the scripts, then it permeates through to you what kind of woman Mrs Pumphrey is, and she was a person that I recognised.”

The <em>All Creatures Great And Small </em>cast are back for series 2. (Channel 5)
The All Creatures Great And Small cast are back for series 2. (Channel 5)

The Miranda star added that despite being a late addition to the cast, which includes Nicholas Ralph, Rachel Shenton and Samuel West, she had been made to feel right at home.

She said: “What I found really touching was that there was never any sense that I was anything other than a part of the team.

"They were all so sweet, and there was complete acceptance from day one. I was very touched. It’s rare and special again from that point of view and I do believe that comes through on screen as well.”

Watch: Game Of Thrones castmates lead tributes to Dame Diana Rigg