Dogs have been cast in a variety of starring roles over the years: from their first cinema appearance in the 1894 film Athlete with Wand to the Hollywood classic Lassie Come Home, where the eponymous dog embarks on a journey to her Yorkshire home. And that is the very same location in which a little Yorkshire Terrier will today add another string to the dog's venerable bow of feats in front of the camera: by becoming the world's first canine travel show presenter.
The world's first travelogue series hosted by a dog has been commissioned by Visit York and gives viewers the opportunity to embark on an adventure into the heart of England's iconic historic city and its surrounding countryside from the perspective of one of Yorkshire's most famous exports: the Yorkshire Terrier, otherwise affectionately known as a ‘Yorkie'.
The three-part travelogue series has been directly inspired by the hugely popular concept of ‘slow TV' and comprises long stretches of uninterrupted, unhurried footage captured from behind Yorkie - allowing viewers to take in the beauty of York and North Yorkshire's stunning landscapes and visitor attractions in an entirely new way. Dressed in a special adventurer's outfit, complete with Visit York and Yorkshire Rose pin badges, throughout the series Yorkie gives the likes of Michaels Palin and Portillo a run for their money.
You can watch him strolling along the twisting, narrow lane of one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe, Shambles, getting a ‘VIP guest' dogs-eye view of the giant locomotives at the National Railway Museum, taking a scenic journey in the cosy compartments and wood panelled carriages of a steam train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, meandering through the enchanting landscapes of the North York Moors National Park and roaming the ruins of Whitby Abbey perched high on the east cliff above Whitby.
‘Yorkie', the adventurous pooch also meets with Viking fans from the site of one of the most astounding discoveries of modern archaeology, at the Jorvik Viking Centre, trots around the gardens of one of Britain's finest stately homes; Castle Howard, dines at the birthplace of a notorious plotter; The Guy Fawkes Inn and explores the history of the city's chocolate making heritage at York's Chocolate Story.
The travelogue series has been launched in partnership with City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council and Virgin Trains to celebrate Visit York's ‘the Original City Adventure' campaign aimed at encouraging visitors to plan their very own adventure in York and North Yorkshire.
As one of the world's most dog loving nations , Visit York aims to showcase the many adventures on offer in the region through the eyes of this adorable pooch and tourism chiefs are keen to point out this is not a guide to dog friendly venues in the area, though well behaved dogs are of course welcome with their owners!
Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said of the travelogue's launch: ‘We know that photos and videos of lovable animals, especially dogs are really popular on social media. So by commissioning this travelogue series through the eyes of ‘Yorkie', an adorable Yorkshire Terrier, we aim to give newcomers to York and York fans a fun flavour of the adventure that awaits you here in beautiful York and North Yorkshire. We hope our viewers will enjoy watching Yorkie explore York and North Yorkshire.'
Each episode features new attractions where viewers can experience the sights and sounds that the location has to offer. The full list of locations Yorkie visited throughout the filming of the series are as follows:
Walmgate Ale House: visits the wood-beamed snug and chic dining room of the charming 17th century building
Jorvik On Tour: discovers the hustle and bustle of the Viking-age and meets Viking traders (to excite visitors about the re-opening of JORVIK in the New Year)
National Rail Museum: meets the stars of the national locomotive collection in giant halls full of steam and diesel engines
York Minster: Yorkie passes by and advises visitors not to leave without a visit to this world-renowned cathedral
Shambles: meanders the narrow medieval street awarded the most picturesque street in Britain 
Guy Fawkes Inn: relaxes in a setting befitting of the time of Guido Fawkes, lit by candlelight and gas lamps
Castle Howard: experiences the breathtaking views of the stately home's tranquil gardens, lakes and fountains
Goathland Station: boards a train at the railway station that became the bewitching Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films
North Yorkshire Moors Railway: travels to Whitby on one of the world's greatest heritage railway experiences
Whitby Abbey: enjoys the exhilarating views across Whitby's harbour and town from the site of the 13th century gothic ruins of the abbey church
York Designer Outlet: shops at the outlet that is home to over 120 stores
The Yorkshire Terrier: stops by this York Brewery pub, a hidden gem situated on historic Stonegate, an obvious choice for Yorkie, the presenter! Just a bowl of Yorkshire water consumed of course!
The first episode of Yorkie's travelogue series will be released in mid-August (release dates soon to be announced), followed by two more episodes in September. In the meantime, for a flavour or what's to come, watch the newly released preview trailer of Yorkie's travelogue series at www.youtube.com/visityork, follow Visit York on Twitter and Instagram @visityork and at facebook.com/visityork and share your own York and North Yorkshire adventure with the hashtags #YorkAdventure and #Yorkie.
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Notes to editors:
The travelogue was commissioned by Visit York to encourage visitors to plan their own adventure in York and North Yorkshire and it is important to note that it is not a guide to dog friendly venues - though well behaved dogs are welcome!
1. Cinema's first dog appeared in Edison Studio's Athlete with Wand. The 30-second film was directed by William K. L. Dickson and features a gymnast assuming a number of positions while holding a wand with a dog lounging in the corner of the foreground.
2. Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy McDowall and canine actor, Pal, in a story about the profound bond between Yorkshire boy Joe Carraclough and his rough collie, Lassie. The film was directed by Fred M. Wilcox from a screenplay by Hugo Butler based upon the 1940 novel Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight. The film was the first in a series of seven MGM films starring "Lassie".
3. The name given to ‘slow TV' derived from the natural slow pace of the television program's progress with the latest evolution starting in 2009 when producers broadcast a 7-hour long journey from Oslo to Bergen. Other examples include 12 hours of non-stop knitting and 18 hours of salmon fishing that were also big hits in Norway. The BBC has recently broadcast a canal trip and a sleigh ride inspired by concepts of ‘Slow TV'.
4. The fact that more than half of Brits keep a minimum of one pet shows that they are pet lovers. To be more specific, British households in total host 6.6 million dogs and 7.7 million cats.
5. The unique beauty of The Shambles has been recognised and awarded the title of the most picturesque street in Britain in the Google Street View Awards.
About the Presenter
Yorkie's real name is Sunny, he is 8 years old, lives in Coventry and likes long walks around the countryside and playing with his toys in the garden.
About Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers are commonly referred to today as the "Yorkie".
The English breed is no more than 100 years old and was originally bred for the purpose of catching rats in mines. The ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier are the Waterside Terrier, a small Scottish breed with a long blue-gray coat. The Waterside Terrier was brought to Yorkshire, England in the mid 19th century.
The Yorkie made its first appearance in England in 1861 during a bench show. At this time they were known as the "Broken-haired Scotch Terrier". The Yorkie kept this title for 9 years until during one show a reporter commented that the breed should be known as Yorkshire Terriers, because the breed had improved so much since their arrival in Yorkshire.
About Make It York
Make It York's purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings - nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.
About Visit York
Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand.
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York's aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.
York Tourism Facts
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com