In his show’s fifth season, the ‘Bondi vet’ takes his devotion to animal welfare overseas.HOW in the world do you operate on a goldfish?
”Everyone says, ‘Why do you bother?’ but, at the same time, ‘How do you do it?’ ” says Chris Brown with a laugh as he discusses one of the more bizarre surgeries featured in the fifth season of Bondi Vet.
”You don’t do it in the water; you get the fish out of the tank. It’s amazing how you can keep a goldfish alive out of the water, while also under anaesthetic.”
Brown enjoys challenging himself. The 34-year-old negotiates one of television’s most hectic schedules, bustling between three separate Channel Ten shows and a number of writing gigs, all alongside working at the titular clinic. Rest is rarely an option; the man has been home about 10 days in the past two months.
In a way, he’s his own worst enemy. The immense international popularity of Bondi Vet has led him to field numerous overseas requests in the latest season.
”We’re keeping it fresh by travelling; being as much the vet in Bondi as the vet from Bondi,” Brown says. He ventures to the US, Fiji, Thailand, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands, among other places.
Brown was conscious of the need for reinvention in the show’s fifth year and it promises to be an eye-opening experience, with stark international differences in veterinary care visible from the outset.
”The degree to which a country has developed economically is highly related to their attitudes towards animals,” Brown says. ”Places that are developing are often lacking in pretty basic care for animals, [so] you can make a really significant difference in a very short period of time.”
Despite the location shift, the core of the show – the bond between owner and pet – remains constant. It’s a universal thing, according to Brown. ”That passion, that care and wanting to really show that animals mean something – that was the element that needed to remain the same.”
Brown never wished this life upon himself, nor did he seek it out after a chance encounter with a talent scout in a Mosman pub. Fast forward nearly 10 years, though, and the boy from Newcastle is now a commentator, overseas reporter and travel correspondent, alongside his vocational calling.
”It was nothing I ever planned on doing, and I think that’s why there’s an innocence and relaxed outlook to it that comes through,” he says. ”I’ve never really been chasing it – it’s something that organically just happened.”
His other returning gig, sitting on the couch of The Living Room, means he is in the prime-time flagships on both Friday and Saturday nights for Ten, coverage that hasn’t harmed the chiselled veterinarian’s heart-throb status.
Even Living Room co-host Amanda Keller has professed repeatedly to having a crush on him, to which Brown laughs and replies, ”we sit on opposite sides of the couch”.
His poster-boy status is not something he feels entirely comfortable with – he continues to cop flak from colleagues at vet conferences – though by embracing it he hopes to, show by show, educate audiences and promote the profession.
”Hopefully, through the show, people get to see that it’s not just a 9-5 job. It’s all hours; it is demanding,” he says. ”If it can increase the awareness of what vets do, and if it can increase information about what to do with your pets … that’s what I’m proud of.”
Bondi Vet is on Saturday at 7.30pm on Channel Ten.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.