Relentless challenges of mixed practice see The Yorkshire Vet return for new series on Channel 5

With a combined 61 years of veterinary experience behind them, you would be forgiven for thinking that Peter Wright and Julian Norton had seen it all.

But working with a whole host of different animals with health problems that often leave their patients incapacitated or in distress, throws up endless challenges in all manner of unexpected circumstances.

The North Yorkshire vets continue to chart their James Herriot-inspired professional journeys this week on Channel 5.

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A ninth series of the hit TV show in which the pair co-star, The Yorkshire Vet, starts next week and brings taxing new situations requiring a delicate touch, quick-thinking and careful skill, all while the cameras roll.

Mr Norton describes being a vet as “the most rewarding job in the world” and the first episode of the new series sees him embroiled in a heart-wrenching case of life or death.

Even the Boroughbridge-based vet looks concerned as he ponders how to intervene when a 14-month-old heifer falls pregnant unplanned.

“Proper vet work”, as Mr Norton describes it and the scenes that follow are not for the faint-hearted - nor are those later on when a nasty-looking tumour on a rather delicate part of Gary the donkey at Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley requires surgery.

Mr Norton, a columnist in The Yorkshire Post each weekend, said: “Everyday we have something that’s challenging. You have to be focused and on top form to get things right.”

Over at Skeldale Veterinary Centre in Thirsk, former Alf Wight apprentice Mr Wright is confronted with a “head versus heart” poser on whether to operate on Boris, a 13-year-old three-legged cat that has broken one of its remaining legs.

“When these dilemmas come round it can be very hard to deal with,” said Mr Wright. “Like Donald Sinclair (Alf Wight’s former business partner in Thirsk) said to me, ‘you never stop learning in this job’. Those words have always stuck with me and he was absolutely right.”

“Real, raw and rural” is how Paul Stead, the show’s creator at Leeds-based Daisybeck Studios, has described the programme, and while the latest instalment promises more unfiltered access to the traumas of all creatures great and small, the show has always offered viewers lighter notes.

In the new series’ opener, Mr Wright deals with a pygmy goat that repeatedly gets it horns stuck in wire fences by trying to graze neighbouring fields, while show sweethearts, senior farming couple Jean and Steve Green, enjoy a rare trip to Whitby where they spent their honeymoon 40 years ago.

Series producer Michael Sinclair said: “Finding the stories, even nine series in, isn’t challenging. And that’s because of the nature of the work we film. No two days are ever the same as a mixed practice vet and that’s reflected on screen.”

The new series of The Yorkshire Vet starts on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5.