Actress and writer Carol Drinkwater, 68, became a household name at 26 as vet’s wife Helen Herriot in the BBC TV series All Creatures Great and Small (1977-85). She is the author of 21 books — fiction and non-fiction — including four memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France. Her search for the mythical secrets of the olive tree inspired two travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, and her most recent novel, The Forgotten Summer, is set on a vineyard in Provence.
Did you think you would get to where you are?
I did not expect my path would take me towards the Mediterranean and olives. What mattered to me was to contribute artistically as an actress. I thought I would end up in Hollywood. The writing is something I have always wanted to do. At the age of 10 I wrote and starred in a play that I took around to local old people’s homes.
When you had made…
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