Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright says history is repeating itself during filming of new series of Channel 5 show as he reminisces about years working with James Herriot

The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright says that history is repeating itself during filming of the new series of the popular Channel 5 show as he looks back on his time with his mentor James Herriot.

Peter Wright, who has been working as a vet for 40 years, is currently filming the new series of The Yorkshire Vet, the first episode airs on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 at 8pm.

There are many new elements to the show that haven’t been covered previously and Peter has found himself relieving history.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the younger vets at Donaldson’s taking the lead when it comes to exotic creatures such as hawks and snakes, Peter is learning more about these animals while they learn from his experiences.

Peter Wright and fellow vet Matt Smith on The Yorkshire Vet. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios / The Yorkshire Vet returns on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5)Peter Wright and fellow vet Matt Smith on The Yorkshire Vet. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios / The Yorkshire Vet returns on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5)
Peter Wright and fellow vet Matt Smith on The Yorkshire Vet. (Pic credit: Daisybeck Studios / The Yorkshire Vet returns on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5)

Back when Peter was a young veterinary graduate, he was under the tutelage of world famous vet Alf Wight, also known as James Herriot.

Peter would seek Alf’s advice on the job, while Alf would also learn from Peter about changes in the methods of treatment.

“What’s helped keep The Yorkshire Vet fresh, is the introduction of the next generation of vets from Donaldson’s,” Peter told The Yorkshire Post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The young vets rely more on technology, whereas myself and Julian rely more on clinical experience that we’ve had over the years.

“The younger vets introduce an element of expertise that we don’t have; if you look at Matt Smith, he is very competent in dealing with exotic species, as he is with various other creatures.

“It’s a two-way street as far as information goes because they can draw on our experience, we do chat quite regularly, and we can draw on their knowledge.

“It’s pretty similar to when I worked with Alf Wight; he had a huge amount of experience when I was a young, fresh graduate and in that situation I used to go to him for advice.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He would ask me about changes in the methods of treatment, which he was always very interested in. So in a way, it’s history repeating itself with these younger vets at Donaldson’s.”

The new mix of species featured on the show stimulates an interest due to the new characters and procedures, Peter said.

“I think it’s good that we’ve got that type of mix now rather than just the traditional mixed practice of farm animals, a few horses, dogs and cats,” he said.

“We’ve got access to Flamingo Land and I’m sort of apprehensive about a day coming, and it will happen in the not too distant future, where someone is going to have an exotic animal that needs looking at.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are dealing with wild animals here quite often and I don’t move quite as quickly as I used to do and I’ve got to be pretty much on my toes.

“I’ve also got to have the knowledge necessary to be able to deal with these animals when we see them.

“We’re also hoping to do some work with the RSPCA at one of their centres and learn a bit more about their rehabilitation of animals in the wild. There are things that are in the pipeline.

Peter admitted that with the increasing number of exotic animal patients they are seeing, he has noticed that people who own such animals don’t do enough research.

“It’s ever changing,” he said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Going back in time, a mixed practice vet will deal with anything from horses through to budgerigars but pretty much on the domesticated aspect of working with animals. Whereas now we are seeing on The Yorkshire Vet more exotic type species.

“I hasten to add, exotic species have very special needs, for anyone to take on an exotic species, they’ve got to do their homework first.

“A lot of the problems that we see with exotics is because they haven’t got the right environment in which to live and they haven’t necessarily had the right food as well.

“I will plead with anyone taking on an exotic species of animal to do their homework first and make sure they can cater to all these animals’ needs.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Technology has also been a constantly evolving aspect to veterinary medicine and has many benefits to it.

“I’m fortunate to be in a mixed practice,” Peter said.

“It’s extremely well equipped; we have CT-scanner in the practice, which a lot of practices still don’t have.

“We had a dog [come to our practice] where his eye was protruding; the reason for that, when we carried out a CT scan, was he had a tumour at the back of his eye and I took his eye out. We got to the tumour and removed it.

“Without the CT scan we wouldn’t have had the detailed knowledge necessary to know what was going on there.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m getting on a bit now, but I can still feel [and see] the benefits of technology combined with good old fashioned veterinary care as well.

“This dog is now running about quite happily after having this tumour removed from the back of his eye.

“It just shows that when you can harness technology in the right way, how beneficial it can be to our everyday lives as veterinary surgeons.”

However, Peter admitted that while there are many benefits to technology, it does have its drawbacks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Technology is very useful if it’s used and channelled in the right directions,” he said.

“Being an old fashioned vet, you still cannot beat a really good clinical examination of your patient and also to listen to what the owners are telling you [about their problems].

“We’re dealing with family pets. These animals are part of people’s families; we must never lose sight of that.

“You can, if you’re not careful, become too distanced through the use of technology and get away from the empathy that’s required as a veterinary surgeon to be able to look after, not only your patient, but your patient’s owners as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“When they are going through a very traumatic time, machines can’t do that, but veterinary surgeons can and I think that’s extremely important that we never lose sight of the care and attention to the emotions that our patient’s owners need.”

Peter, who has recently published a children’s book called Peter, Sue and a Lot of Poo, has reassured that The Yorkshire Vet is here to stay.

“We’re actually working on series 19 coming out in autumn,” he said.

“The Yorkshire Vet will continue. It’s down to our very loyal viewers that tune in week in and week out.

“As long as the public wants us, we’ll be there.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.