In our interview below, Rolf chats about the six-part documentary series - filmed at the University of Liverpool's Vet School - and his long and amazing career...
What is Rolf's Animal Clinic all about?
"Well, it's a programme from the University of Liverpool - from the Leahurst campus near Chester. It's quite an amazing campus; they've got one of the biggest facilities for treating horses in the world. It's an amazing campus, because it treats household pets but it also treats horses and farm animals.
"On occasion they go to Chester Zoo to treat exotic animals as well, so they're a very busy bunch - and they're a teaching college. In all the programmes, you can see students watching the operations and seeing how it's done and they're hands on, so it's just an amazing series."
People still remember your work on Animal Hospital fondly. Is Animal Clinic in the same vein?
"It is, but with a broader scope. It's another 10 years of advanced technology added to the expertise of Animal Hospital. Plus, Animal Hospital was all domestic pets... or wild animals that have been hit by a car or something and were brought in to be treated. There were no horses.
"It's the same attitude towards animals - it's done with love and affection. But it's a teaching college and you get the chance to see all the latest technological advances."
Was shooting Animal Clinic an emotional experience, dealing with the injured animals?
"Yeah, I suppose it was, but what I've seen so far is mainly the big horse operations and they're quite incredible. If a horse gets colic, it needs to be treated in a couple of hours, otherwise it's dead - no question. So to see them manhandling this huge animal and anesthetizing it, then turn it upside down, put it on its back on the operating table... they have to have all four legs up and supported from above and then the vet - with the animal under anaesthetic - opens up the stomach...
"They isolate the intestine and they go through hundred of miles of intestine. It's just amazing. And then when they bring that horse back round from that anaesthetic, they've got to have it on its feet again and restrained with restraining bars. Any human being anywhere around it has to get the hell out because when a horse comes round from being totally anesthetized, it doesn't know where it is or what's happening, and it's very liable to lash out and try to defend itself against some imagined horror. So you better not be anywhere near its feet or its head, it will knock you over."
Do you feel like vets are unsung heroes in the UK?
"Well, I don't know about that but they are amazing. I just take my hat off to them. They just jump into the unknown and do all of these operations. I think pet owners tend to think that vets can do anything and I guess when they find that they sometimes can't, they're a little bit upset.
"It's no guarantee that the operations are going to succeed, so it's all quite a cliff-hanging experience to see some of these things taking place."
As well as animals, your other big passion is art. Would you like to host another regular show about art again?
"I certainly would, but I don't know whether I would have the time anymore to do it. It takes a while to do. I couldn't imagine going away for a week at a time as I used to do with Rolf on Art specials - going away to France or Austria or somewhere and being away from home for that long.
"We're getting a bit old, a bit long in the tooth, my wife and I, and we don't wanna be separated for that long. But I would love to do that again - I feel like I have a lot to offer in that area."
Earlier this year, you were awarded the Order of Australia. How did you feel at the time?
"It's amazing, it's thrilling to be recognised in my home country, it's just amazing. I've got a CBE in this country, now the order of Australia, so it's on-par with that."
You also received a BAFTA fellowship this year and there was an exhibition of your artwork. Does that sort of thing make you look back on your career?
"I've been entertaining people since 1953 and that's a long time. I've been doing it in different areas for all that time, so it's quite incredible really to think how its been going."
How do you feel when you look back on your career?
"Well, I feel wonderful. There are things that I would have done differently, had I known... I mean, I did a programme many years ago teaching kids how to swim. I did live quarter-of-an-hour programmes and they were just brilliant. They taught kids to float and how to do this, that and the other in a straight-forward, no-messing-around sort of way and they were just wonderful.
"After showing them once, the BBC wiped them - they wiped all of the tapes and if I would have known what I know now I would have offered to buy the whole bloody series, then I could see it again and it could be shown every year in the summertime, because kids are always needing to learn how to swim. They need to know how the water feels like and how to respond in water."
You got to sing at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert this year. Have you forgiven Lenny Henry for interrupting you yet?
"I was waiting for it, because when I went into it, they said 'Could you sing a bit of Two Little Boys while Stevie Wonder tries to sort out his electronic organ?' so I went into it knowing that it was a stop-gap, it was only for a little while. But then when they said to Lenny, 'Okay, Stevie Wonder's ready, could we just wind up the song now', Lenny gave me the wind-up signal, so I just cut straight to the end of the song and of course Lenny was booed for his troubles!
"I had nothing to forgive him for because I was aware of the stop-gap nature of what I was doing. I wasn't aware of the fact that everybody in the place was singing along with me! They had all sorts of camera shots of Princess Anne singing along to all of the words of 'Two Little Boys'...
"It is a sad song to interrupt because it tells a story and you really need to see the whole thing, but it wasn't Lenny's fault. He got a lot of gratuitous booing from the crowd!"
I think the crowd were just showing how much they love you and that song...
"Yeah, they wanted us to keep going!"
Are you still amazed by the amount of people you've inspired?
"Yeah, it's just incredible - it's lovely and it's the biggest thrill of my life when somebody comes up to me and says, 'I was inspired by Rolf's Cartoon Club to get into animation as a career', or 'I was inspired to become an artist', or 'You inspired me to take up music', or whatever - it's thrilling to have that effect on people."
Rolf's Animal Clinic begins tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 23) at 8pm on Channel 5.