Young James Herriot

9:00pm Sunday 18 December on BBC ONE

The adventures of James Herriot in his early years as a student vet at Glasgow Veterinary College can be seen on BBC One this Christmas, in a series inspired by the character and early works of James Herriot.

It’s Thirties Glasgow and James Herriot, an idealistic young man, arrives to study at the city’s Vet College. He will go on to become Britain’s best-known and best-loved vet, but Herriot’s beginnings in the profession were not auspicious. This is the story of the making of the man, a story of a young man with hope in his heart, not much money in his pocket and the desire to do good.

His first day in Glasgow is miserable. He falls foul of his professors, he antagonises local tradesmen, and he is left homeless after his would-be landlady does a runner with his rent.

His luckless introduction to veterinary medicine provides some amusement for two older students. Whirly Tyson is one of only two women at the Vet College, while Rob McAloon is a playboy and perennial student. They see something in Herriot that others don’t and take him under their wing. He moves in with them and Whirly’s glamorous aunt, whose intentions towards Young James may not be as honourable as he would like.

James meanwhile acquires his first patient; an ailing dray horse that he spots being mistreated by a local haulier. James insists the horse needs rest, but the man needs the horse to work or he won’t be able to support his small son. With the boy facing the prospect of the poor house, young Herriot has to make some crucial decisions.

James Herriot is played by Iain de Caestecker, Whirly Tyson by Amy Manson and Rob McAloon by Ben Lloyd-Hughes.

Ep 1/3

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1