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Thurso vet Guy Gordon's new book – an official tie-in with the hit TV series The Highland Vet – is now on sale locally

By Jean Gunn

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Thurso vet Guy Gordon with his new book which ties in with the TV series The Highland Vet.
Thurso vet Guy Gordon with his new book which ties in with the TV series The Highland Vet.

Caithness fans of the popular TV programme The Highland Vet will be able to pick up copies of a new book to go with the series at DS McGregors in Thurso and Wick.

The Highland Vet – A Year at Thurso was written by star of the show Guy Gordon with help from his colleagues from the Thurso veterinary team.

Published by Penguin Random House, under the Ebury Spotlight imprint, it is hoped the book will have the same effect as the series which has smashed viewing figure records for Channel 5 with more than a million viewers and rising.

In the book, Guy shows what working at Scotland's most northerly mainland veterinary practice really involves. Along with his team, he shares the highs and lows, ups and downs as well as the ins and outs of their daily work throughout the course of a year.

From the arrival of new-born lambs and calves in the spring to seal pups in the autumn months, there are plenty of stories, some of which viewers of the programme might recognise.

The Highland Vet book cover.
The Highland Vet book cover.

The series is narrated by the much-loved Downton actress, Phyllis Logan, who has written a foreword to the book. "It was great she could do it through the connection of Daisybeck Studios, the filming company," said Guy. "She is the voice of the series. It links it all back – it is a book that exists because of the television series."

People have already been telling Guy they have got the book and now the publication is available in the vet practices in both Thurso and Wick it will be easier for others to obtain.

Commenting on the actual writing of the book, which took about six months to complete, he said: "It was all consuming. Fortunately it fell late summer into the winter when it is not so busy.

"It was hard work, but actually I did really enjoy it, although my wife might have reservations. I actually do quite like the idea of doing another book – I was worried I would not have enough to fill one, but what I have discovered is I have plenty stories left to tell.

"I enjoyed creating the stories, remembering them and retelling then and trying to tell them well, and get all the twists and turns. Story telling is not something I do as part of my day job – there are some humorous moments in there as well. I hope people will have a bit of a chuckle.

"You can get more detail in and set the scene, kind of a complementary medium to the series."

Some of the Thurso stars from The Highland Vet during filming for the first series.
Some of the Thurso stars from The Highland Vet during filming for the first series.

Guy was able to refer back to years from almost three decades, putting in some of his more memorable moments, however, most of the stories are from his time in the county. He has changed a few of the names of the characters mentioned, anonymising some of the stories to a degree.

"I think most people featured in the book are probably aware of it," he said. "I think they are keen to read what I said about it – would be interesting to know their response to it."

Most people he asked about using stories relating to them were more than happy with the idea.

At the beginning of the book Guy goes back to the feelings he had when he first arrived in the county in 1997 and gives descriptions of the local scenery in the hope people further afield will be "enchanted" with it. "Caithness seen through the eyes of an incomer," he says. "Even on the worst of days up here, it’s very hard to feel anything but blessed."

Guy tried to involve stories that included everyone at the practice and hopes the book will be enjoyed by fans of the series as well as those who have not seen it.

The cameras have been back at the practice recently and a new series is imminent, although exact dates have yet to be announced.

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