YOU would never have seen this in Herriot's day.

The Diary is pleased to bring you news of one of North Yorkshire's best known vets and his first foray into writing: Matt Brash's Zoo Vet.

Matt, star of ITV's Zoo Vet At Large programme, will launch the novel on July 6.

And far from the usual fare of cows, sheep and horses, Zoo Vet will be filled with tales about polar bears, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, parrots, lizards and even spiders.

Because on top of the usual menagerie of rodents and small animals Matt sees at his practices near York, he also tends to the larger, more exotic beasts which live at Flamingo Land Zoo.

He said: "This is a mixture of tales and autobiographical memories of my life and work with weird and wonderful exotic wild animals - from tarantulas to tapirs, birds to bears, madams to motor bikers."

Matt's television career kicked off in 1998 when he was filmed for a series of short stories about his work as resident vet at Flamingo Land Zoo.

He was then spotted by the BBC and co-starred in Vets To The Rescue, based at Chester Zoo and Vets In The Country, filmed in 2002 and based at Matt's practices just outside York at Stamford Bridge, Strensall and Pocklington.

The short Zoo Vet stories were later expanded to longer half-hour programmes and evolved to move out of the zoo to cover his work at his small animal, horse and exotic animal practice as well.

Conducting a private pretense

SATIRICAL magazine Private Eye has included a York company in its hallowed pages after its managing director gave a rather pretentious quote to The Press.

Reacting to complaints from customers that one had to have the correct change to buy tickets for ftr buses or face been prosecuted for fare-dodging, First York managing director Richard Eames told The Press: "Moving forward, we have taken on 20 customer hosts to bring clarity to the ticket buying process."

As Private Eye puts it, what Mr Eames really meant is that the company is taking on 20 bus conductors.

First York is featured in Eye's Pseuds Corner which picks up on long-winded and pretentious quotes from either the media or business.

But for once Private Eye does not have it all its own way. They have made the rather elementary journalistic error of getting First York's name wrong. They actually call it "First In York".

Perhaps they were "tired and emotional" when they wrote it.