Life more than a beach for TV vet
Life more than a beach for TV vet

For someone whose title is the Bondi Vet, Dr Chris Brown isn't oft in the Sydney beachside suburb. "It's a rarity I'm in Bondi but I can honestly say I'm actually home right now," he says over the phone.

Brown estimates he has spent 10 days out of the last two months in Bondi but it's still a top priority to show his face at the Bondi Junction Veterinary Hospital.

"I was incredibly happy doing my normal job and a lot of people ask if I actually still do work as a vet and I really do," he explains.

"It's sort of a first priority, I guarantee my clinic I'll be in there once a week and do a day just to see the regular clients and get to know them and keep them happy.

"We've done a lot more travel for Bondi Vet (but) we've still been in the vet clinic and that's where I've spent that 10 days."

Since Bondi Vet started on Ten in 2009, the show has grown to become an international success and now also features Dr Lisa Chimes, who works at the Small Animal Specialist Hospital.

"The show has been on for a long time now and it airs in a lot of different countries so we get a lot of strange requests and calls for help," Brown says.

"I never thought that I'd be away so much. We've been to Thailand, Japan, Vanuatu, Fiji, the US, all sorts of places doing vet work and so it adds a really interesting flavour to what we do.

"There have been some beautiful stories that show the love of pets is not just an Australian thing, it's a broad obsession and passion that people have and it's nice to see that expressed in different ways in different cultures."

With Bondi Vet syndicated in about 30 countries , Brown says he is constantly surprised by the breadth of people the show reaches.

"They don't really tell me where the show is on and I only really find out when someone from Guatemala turns up to the vet hospital and wants to say hi.

"We were in the Cook Islands the other day and a Brazilian person came up and wanted to talk about the show and I thought 'OK, that's pretty cool'."

"There's probably a bigger variety of animals than we've ever seen before and probably comes from all the travel. From crocodiles through to cheetahs and monkeys, turtles, elephants, aggressive pigs and operations on goldfish which people said couldn't be done.

"I was in the States the other day and took a call out to a lady who has 1000 cats."

The fifth season of Bondi Vet starts tomorrow night and will run for 30 episodes in a new one-hour format.

"A lot of the time we'd have to cut so much out. I think the stories we're doing now are a bit more complicated and with the travel element you can really show where you are and let the story breathe and really appreciate what they're going through and what it takes to make the animal better," he says.

In addition to his commitments with Bondi Vet, Brown has been presenting more for Ten's The Project and The Living Room, which returns today.

"I do the travel reporting as well as the animal information for The Living Room," he says. "I have had quite a few trips overseas and around Australia for them. It's one of those jobs where people think it's probably the best job in the world and it's great but it's really interesting how you play that role.

"We didn't want the stories to look like Great Outdoors stories or Getaway, we want it to look a bit more like An Idiot Abroad, where you throw yourself into a situation and see how you go and have a genuinely interesting and entertaining experience - possibly at my expense."

'With the travel element you can really show where you are and let the story breathe.'


The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West