Furry Potter

PEOPLE: Q&C AND CENTREFRONT MENSWEAR 

Gorgeous James Greenwood is the ‘vet who pots’ who you might’ve seen on telly. He spent a day with Q&C modelling Centrefront Menswear’s new collection and talked ceramics, homophobia and the importance in giving a voice to gay people living in rural communities.

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Is there no end to James Greenwood’s talents? Not only is he a passionate and experienced veterinary surgeon, he is also a skilled potter who sells a range of fantastic and eye-catching goods via his ceramics business. He’s also a part-time TV star and did we also mention he is hot as hell which is why we’ve made him Q&C’s latest cover star, alongside his adorable eight-year-old Labrador Oliver.

James is originally a Yorkshire lad, though currently lives in rural Somerset near Bristol. Growing up he had a love of art and science, so it comes as no surprise that his two loves now run in parallel as an adult. He has even become known for the moniker ‘the vet that pots’.

James’ family has been farming the Pennines for generations but while his parents chose to leave farming, James inherited the qualities necessary to devote himself to a life spent in the company of animals.

James graduated from Bristol University in 2007, and has since enjoyed a successful career working with most companion animal species ranging from cats and dogs, to rabbits, horses and even a baby elephant.  

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He has said: “Vets are a committed and honourable breed. I have always held a deep empathy for animals, their role in our society and the injustice some face through human cruelty. Every day I feel like I make a difference and it comes as no surprise, therefore, that I love being a vet.”

More recently he was invited to compete on the first series of BBC2’s 'The Great Pottery Throwdown' where he became a favourite after showcasing his ceramic skills to the nation along with his laid-back easy-going charming personality.  James is currently starring on a CBBC children’s television series called ‘The Pets Factor’, equally proving a hit with viewers.

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Speaking with Queen and Country, we wondered whether gay vets living in isolated rural areas experience any issues. He said: “It’s something close to my heart because as vets we often see this as a genuine problem. A lot of young vets graduating might want to go into farm or equine practice and so instead of heading off to cities will head to small rural communities where there may still be some stigma attached to being gay and unfortunately some of those vets may experience homophobia.”

He added. “Living in the countryside can be incredibly isolating for the LGBTQ community. It’s such a shame as it shouldn’t still be that way but by speaking out, through platforms like Q&C, breaking the stigma and proudly becoming a part of rural culture - we can make a huge positive impact."

James admits that people still often view the countryside through the prism of idealism and fantasy. “We always think of the countryside as being this beautiful escapism, which of course it is, but realistically it’s (made up of) small communities and some of those communities can still be quite narrow minded with variations from ‘the norm’."

Not that James himself has endured much discrimination, particularly in his profession in which 90 per cent of graduates are female. “I’ve had a very positive experience,” he admits before adding, “although in the consulting room with the general public we often hear of examples of discrimination and homophobia, so you just hope that one day better education might change that tide.”

He talks about the British vets LGBT group which marches each year in London Pride. “It’s our responsibility as a profession to reach out to young gay vets and let them know there is a voice out there which is representing them and providing an essential platform.”

I love pottery. I find it a great leveller from the stresses of being a vet.

After going part-time as a vet, he succumbed to his second passion – ceramics. “I love pottery,” he exclaims. “It was my secret hobby until the TV thing came along. I find it a great leveller from the stresses of my other job. After doing some adult education courses in ceramics, I had this whole epiphany. I found ceramics was mindfulness, crafts and art all rolled into one. The tactile feel of it in your hands, and switching off when making something. I promise you, it’s incredible and I can honestly say it has changed my life.”

And with that, James shoots us one of those beaming smiles of his, and takes Oliver for a well-deserved walk along the beach, just the two of them, seemingly without a care in the world.

You can follow James on Instagram: @drgreenwood

Clothing courtesy of Centrefront Menswear

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