Currently appearing on The Living Room on Friday nights and Bondi Vet on Saturdays, he is juggling filming commitments as well as his Bondi veterinarian clinic. Yes he really is a Bondi Vet.
Both shows are produced by WTFN which must surely be their most successful personality by now?
“I don’t know, I haven’t done the sums!” he laughs.
“I tend to do one show for a week then straight onto another one so the same people organise the schedule and make sure that I’m able to do both shows and still get to the vet clinic.”
Bondi Vet is now in its 5th season and this year has expanded to 30 x 1 hour episodes. That’s necessitated far more shooting than ever.
“The advantage of being on for that length of time is we get a lot of requests for help and probably this year more than any other we’ve been out and about helping people who have requested it,” he said.
“So we’re all around the country almost in every state this year, and also internationally.
“Thailand was part of that and you’ll see we’ll be in the States, Fiji and all over the place.
“I was working at a wildlife centre in Thailand. In Australia that usually means koalas and possums but over there it means elephants, tigers, bears and massive pythons. So it was a pretty big challenge.
“You get taught about them but you don’t exactly get the chance to do elephant anatomy too often.”
One of his highlights for this season was an emergency call in Thailand.
“I got a call to a school where there was a bully hassling kids for their lunches but the problem was the bully was a 1 metre tall monkey,” he recalls.
“I had to subdue the monkey before it hurt someone or before someone hurt it.
“So when you’re running through a primary school and a Buddhist temple chasing after a monkey you realise that you’re not in Bondi anymore.”
Another involved an unusual dog in the US, a case that he had been assisting with for several years.
“There’s a dog that lives only on two legs, only born with back legs, who lives in Minneapolis,” he says.
“He walks and lives his life like a person on two legs.
“So there’s more diversity in the animals we’re treating and it’s probably the most challenging series in terms of animals and what we’re trying to fix. But the core value of the show is people loving their pets and we try to help them out.”
Meanwhile he has also completed a trip to Tasmania for The Living Room, travelling with co-presenter Miguel Maestre.
“We tried to show that it’s not just the sleepy little island that people consider it to be. We were jumping off 150 metre high dam walls, doing aerobatics in jet fighters and showing people the incredible wildlife they have there,” he says.
“But I’ve never seen so much roadkill. It’s almost as if there’s a kangaroo or some sort of animal every 150 metres. Animals seem to be drawn to the roadside there which is bad for them. The upside, if there is one, is that we have a few unpredictable and unplanned animal encounters. So that makes for good TV with Tassie Devils, kangaroos and echidnas and all sorts of things.”
Now in its second season, The Living Room has generated good word of mouth with its mix of studio presenting and file stories.
“I get a lot of people coming up and saying ‘It’s a great show, we really love it.’ It seems to be people’s secret pleasure on the weekend. We always wanted to make a lifestyle show but hopefully not one that had been done before,” Brown explains.
“Having the live studio appeal with stories where we do cooking but it’s not quite cooking, or travel where there’s a bit of madness involved ….we try and make it unpredictable. It’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
But TEN recently moved the show from 7:30pm to 9:30pm to make way for American Idol. Brown is diplomatic when asked about the move.
“In a way it kind of feels right because it has that Tonight show vibe to it. Even if you’re not interested in the lifestyle we have studio guests or some of the stories we have will hook you in. So it’s quite nice for a Friday night.”
This year readers voted The Living Room as Most Popular Lifestyle in the TV Tonight Awards, finally toppling perennial winner Better Homes and Gardens.
With a long year ahead, Brown is encouraged by the vote of confidence.
“It looks like we’re here all year. They (TEN) realise that lifestyle is a habit thing and Better Homes & Gardens has been doing it well and been popular for quite a while. It will take a while to win people over but hopefully if the result of your survey is anything to go by then we’re finally getting there.”
The Living Room airs 9:30pm Fridays on TEN
Bondi Vet airs 7:30pm Saturdays on TEN