The Yorkshire Vet star Matt Jackson-Smith reflects on how his grandmother introduced him to the Channel 5 show ahead of its 200th episode before he joined alongside Peter Wright and Julian Norton

The Yorkshire Vet star Matt Jackson-Smith has shared his thoughts on the upcoming 200th episode of the Channel 5 show - and revealed his grandmother introduced him to the series before he joined alongside Peter Wright and Julian Norton.

The next episode of The Yorkshire Vet, which will air on Tuesday (May 21) at 8pm will mark its 200th since it first started and after 10 years in the field and four years on the Channel 5 show, one of Donaldson's practice vets Matt Jackson-Smith has reflected on his time on the show.

The 34-year-old graduated with his veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow, the same university where Alf Wight graduated, in 2014, the same year when The Yorkshire Vet started filming.

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His grandmother used to watch the series regularly and was the first to introduce him to it.

Matt Jackson-Smith with Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)Matt Jackson-Smith with Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)
Matt Jackson-Smith with Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)

Matt, who is from Mirfield, said: “It’s been four years since we started [the show] and now it’s come to the 200th episode - it’s crazy.

“The team, the film and crew at The Yorkshire Vet are like part of the furniture and it’s really quite exciting that it has gotten this far and it’s so popular.

“My grandma used to always watch The Yorkshire Vet and she would go ‘have you seen what’s happening here’ and often we’d watch it together.

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“It was my grandma who got me into The Yorkshire Vet because I graduated in 2014 which was the year The Yorkshire Vet started.

Donaldson's vets with Peter Wright and Julian Norton. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)Donaldson's vets with Peter Wright and Julian Norton. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)
Donaldson's vets with Peter Wright and Julian Norton. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)

“I studied at the University of Glasgow, which is the same university that Alf Wight studied at as well. Little things here and there that happened that almost seem too accurate to be coincidence.”

Matt said the 200th episode was one of his biggest challenges he’s faced during series 18.

“It’s a really classic Yorkshire Vet episode in the sense it’s got all creatures great and small,” he said.

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“We’ve got myself with a bit of the unusual, a deer that’s got pneumonia, Peter’s there with a lamb, Julian’s got a dog and Rohin has got alpacas. It really covers all the bases of the species, it’s really quite exciting.

Matt Jackson-Smith and Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)Matt Jackson-Smith and Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)
Matt Jackson-Smith and Peter Wright. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios)

“Thinking about it, this 200th episode was one of the most challenging ones because there was a deer with pneumonia, which can be very serious, but often those are the most satisfying when it goes well.

“It can cause long term problems if you don’t treat it and we couldn’t get hold of this deer to medicate it like you would a cow or a horse, you can inject it, give it medication, but there was no way to do it.

“The only way was a remote delivery system with a dart with antibiotics in it; it was trying to work out the logistics of how we are going to medicate the deer, get the deer close enough so I could get through it with the dart, and have I got enough space for the dart.”

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Matt will be following in the footsteps of his mentors Peter Wright, Julian Norton and the original Yorkshire vet Alf Wight, also known as James Herriot, as his debut book ‘My Life as a Yorkshire Vet’ is set to be published in October this year.

“I always thought it would be quite fun to [write a book] and if the opportunity arose, I’d never turn it down because I’ve been journaling for many years,” he said.

“I started prior to Covid. I just started writing stories down as they happened, little anecdotes, I had the opportunity to put it all in a book. I’m really excited to do that.

“What I want to do is to share my experiences and veterinary stories so far and to give an insight into what vetting is like as a mixed vet which I’m quite lucky to be in.”

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Matt Jackson-Smith, Shona Searson, Rohin Aojula and David Melleney have all brought something different to the show since they joined.

“We’re lucky to have worked with everything from rats, mice and rabbits right through to cattle, horses, as well as dogs and cats, it’s certainly been a rollercoaster. We’re all really quite proud of that,” Matt said.

“Since we’ve joined the show, I know certainly for myself, there have been a lot of exotic species I’ve worked on and I’m really quite passionate about those. I’d like to think I’ve brought a bit of weird and wonderful [to the show].

“We’re all still quite young in our careers and there are a lot of modern methods that are available now. The profession has changed in the last 10 years since I’ve been qualified.

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“New techniques have become available. It’s amazing that we have them at our fingertips and to be able to apply them.”

And he had a final message for the fans of the show who have been watching for 200 episodes - including his grandmother.

“Thank you very much for being part of this incredible journey with us. We couldn’t have done this without you and your continued support means so much and we feel quite special to have this experience as part of our hopefully long careers going forward.”

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