Who is The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright?

The Yorkshire Vet star Peter Wright has worked at the county’s most famous veterinary practice for almost 40 years.

Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 6:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:04 am

The 64-year-old veterinary surgeon was born and raised in Thirkleby, North Yorkshire, and during his childhood he spent a lot of time exploring the countryside and helping out at the farm his grandfather managed.

A schoolteacher encouraged him to take an interest in veterinary science and managed to set up work experience at a practice in Thirsk which was run by world-famous vet and author Alfred Wight, who is better known by his pen name James Herriot.

It didn’t take long for Peter to decide that he wanted to join the profession and he spent five years studying at Liverpool University before he graduated in 1981.

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Peter Wright (left) with his former colleague Julian Norton outside Skeldale Veterinary Practice

Where did he begin his career?

After a brief spell working in Bedfordshire, he was offered the chance to return to Thirsk and work under Alfred Wight and Donald Sinclair, who is the inspiration for the eccentric character Siegfried Farnon in the James Herriot books.

Peter described his mentor Alfred as “a lovely lovely man” and said he never lost his temper and was “always there with a snippet of advice”.

“We never saw him as James Herriot in the practice, we saw him as Alf White,” he said.

“He himself said he felt he was 95 per cent vet and author. But, obviously, to the millions and millions of fans worldwide, he was much more than that.

“He was my boss initially and I had the utmost respect for him.”

Peter later took over the practice and in 1996 it moved to the purpose-built Skeldale Veterinary Centre, where it is still based.

He sometimes returns to the original practice, which has been converted into a tourist attraction called The World of James Herriot, and said it evokes “tremendous memories”.

In 2015, Channel 5 began filming the exploits of Peter and his colleagues in North Yorkshire, for hit Channel 5 show The Yorkshire, which is now in its 12th season.

What about his personal life?

Peter lives with his wife Lin in North Yorkshire and they have two grown-up children - Emily and Andrew - and a grandchild called Archie.

When he’s not at work, Peter enjoys playing bridge, gardening with his wife and taking part in tractor rallies.

He has written two books about his work - 'The Yorkshire Vet: In the Footsteps of Herriot' and 'My Yorkshire Great and Small'.

He is also involved in a project run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which aims to promote sustainable agriculture and encourage farmers to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides.