'The Yorkshire Vet' star Peter Wright on unusual cases and his dream role

Vet Peter Wright with some lambs in The Yorkshire Vet
Vet Peter Wright is back in a new series of The Yorkshire Vet. (Image credit: Channel 5)

The Yorkshire Vet is back for a brand new series and will once again be following the day-to-day life of veterinary surgeon Peter Wright and other vets including his former colleague Julian Norton. 

Here in an exclusive interview, Peter, 64, who began his career working with the All Creatures Great And Small vets - Alf Wight and Donald Sinclair (best known as James Herriot and Siegfried Farnon) at their practice in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, tells us about some of the animals he'll be treating this series at his practice, Grace Lane Vets in Kirkybymoorside.

Peter also reveals his most bizarre cases ever and why he'd love a role in a very special drama that's close to his heart...

Tell us about some of the animals you’re going to be treating this series?

"In the first episode I operate on two Shetland ponies, Bentley and Ralph, who both need to be castrated. Fans of the show know I spend a lot of my time castrating animals of one type or another!

"When male horses and ponies have hormones rampaging through them they can be unpredictable and dangerous, especially where children are concerned so we castrate them mainly for safety and to make them more manageable. 

"Shetlands have minds of their own but are superb pets once they're trained. And they look very cute indeed, although looks can be deceiving sometimes can’t they!" 

Peter Wright with Shetland ponies and his colleague Shona in The Yorkshire Vet

Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright with Shetland ponies Bentley and Ralph and Peter's colleague, Shona  (Image credit: Channel 5)

Any tricky births you’ve got to deal with in this series of The Yorkshire Vet? 

"There’s a lovely story where Julian (Peter’s former colleague, vet Julian Norton) does a cesarean section on a bitch who produced 14 live puppies. It was absolutely fantastic. I think that’s the biggest litter I’ve ever come across in my entire career.  A job like that makes up for the sad bits that you get in our world as well." 

Vet Julian Norton in The Yorkshire Vet

Vet Julian Norton is on hand to help with a very special birth in this series of The Yorkshire Vet.  (Image credit: Channel 5)

What’s been the most extraordinary scenario you’ve had to deal with in your career?

"One that really stands out is when a lady came in with a young bulldog called Little Boss who had hurt his nether regions. It transpired Little Boss had tried to get amorous with a hedgehog and Little Boss definitely came off worse than the hedgehog! 

"I also remember a Siamese cat who was brought in with a swollen abdomen. I was gobsmacked when I operated and discovered it had 13 hairbands in its stomach. It had a taste for them!  They all belonged to its owner who wore her hair in a ponytail so perhaps this was the cat's way of getting close to its owner. We certainly do get some very bizarre cases. "

Have you watched the remake of All Creatures Great And Small which is coming back for a second series soon?

"Yes and I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I was apprehensive when I heard they were doing a remake because the initial series was such a massive success. As students in the 70s we used to watch it on a crackly television set in our Liverpool digs and of course I was fortunate enough to work with Alf Wight and Donald Sinclair, best known as Siegfired Farnham and James Herriot. 

"I have to say, Sam West is brilliant in his portrayal of Donald and Nicholas Ralph is great as James, (based on Alf). He’s got this lovely Scottish accent which of course Alf Wight, who was brought up in Glasgow, had." 

Would you like a cameo role in the series? What are your acting skills like?

"Oh, I would absolutely love to do that, I’d crawl on my hands and knees to be part of it. If you could fix that I'd be forever in your debt!" 

Vet Peter Wright in The Yorkshire Vet

Yorkshire Vet star Peter stays he'd love a role in the remake of All Creatures Great And Small on Channel 5.  (Image credit: Channel 5)

No thoughts of retiring any time soon then? 

"I had that option before I made the move to the Grace Lane practice in Kirkbymoorside, but when I asked my wife Lin, ‘Do you think I should retire’ she replied in typical blunt Yorkshire fashion, ‘Well I don’t want you under my feet every day!’ So I got the message pretty quickly. 

"And besides, I don’t want to retire. I’m doing what I love doing and I go off to work with a spring in my step. ‘I’ve still got some work left in me’ as the farmers around here would say!" 

The Yorkshire Vet is back on Tuesday 7 September on Channel 5 at 8pm.

Tess Lamacraft
Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week, Whattowatch.com

Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.