The Yorkshire Vet: Julian Norton details ‘problems’ at surgery Its hard enough

The Yorkshire Vet: Julian Norton attempts to treat an alpaca

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The Yorkshire Vet follows Julian, 49, and Peter Wright, 64, as they nurse a selection of animals back to health in their North Yorkshire practices. Julian recently opened up about ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his work as well as the popular Channel 5 programme, and admitted there were problems at the surgery.

Talking about the pandemic, he explained: “Back at the surgery it’s been quite hard because we’ve not been able to allow owners to come in with their pets into the practise, so that’s brought problems.

“And certainly at the beginning, I felt that we weren’t able to do the job very effectively because there were so many hurdles put in the way.”

He continued: “And it’s hard enough at the best of times but when you’ve got all these other hurdles to get round and over.

“It wasn’t so easy but like I say, it was great to be able to get out and work a lot better than some people were.”

Julian has been a firm fixture on the show since it began in 2015, but like most places, the surgery was affected by the restrictions of the pandemic.

In an interview from 2020 with Fiona Thompson, chairperson for the RTS Yorkshire Centre, he also detailed how filming was impacted.

“It stopped pretty much,” he said. “I think we had about six weeks completely off.

“We’re back now working outside so not within the practice but in places where we can film outside – so in farms and that sort of thing, and with a trimmed down team, normally a camera and a sound guy.

“I think with small teams and small units we’ve got a lot more flexibility than some of the bigger productions that are going on so it’s actually not been so bad.”

The most recent series of The Yorkshire Vet aired throughout April this year and featured new faces across the three practices around Yorkshire.

Earlier this year, Peter made the decision to leave his beloved practice when he chose to start afresh at Grace Lane Vets which is situated in the same area.

The Yorkshire Vet has been a huge success over the last six years.

It has routinely reached viewing figures of more than two million, making it one of Channel 5’s most successful programmes.

But this certainly wasn’t anticipated by Julian, who admitted it was a tough job to begin the first series.

He said: “It was the spring of 2015 and it was funny because the channel said it really just wanted some sheep and some lambs, and said if you don’t have any sheep or lambs then it’s not going to happen.

“I sort of looked at the calendars and said ‘you do realise it’s the beginning of April now, and lambing time is a defined time – it’s a seasonal thing, that’s what lambs are’.”

He added this meant it was “very rushed,” explaining: “And I remember the first sheep that I filmed – a big lamb – there was like a palpable easing of tension when they’d got the story of a lamb being born.

“The commissioners were all based down in London and weren’t quite so aware of the seasonalities as we were up in the wilds of Yorkshire.”

Thankfully, all ran smoothly and many fans are still consistently tuning in to enjoy the show.

The Yorkshire Vet is available to watch on Channel 5.

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