In just three years, the brilliant, magnetic vet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, has made 11 - that's right, 11! - series for Channel 4. That adds up to an eye-watering 70 hours of television.
During that time, Noel and his expert team at Fitzpatrick Referrals have used their ground-breaking medical technology to save the lives of hundreds of animals previously thought to be beyond salvation.
He has been an inspiration to millions right across the globe. Since Noel’s show has been on air, applications to veterinary schools have gone through the roof. Not for nothing is he known as The Supervet.
The terrific news is that now you can see The Supervet in the flesh and observe his miraculous work first-hand. Noel is embarking on his first-ever live tour – called “Welcome to My World” – and it is coming to an arena near you very soon. But you are advised to book your tickets for one of his 21 dates very soon as they are already flying off the shelves.
Accompanied by a host of vivid songs and footage bringing his astonishing story to life, Noel takes audiences on a journey.
He guides us from the moment in a remote field in Ireland forty years ago when he conceived the dream of becoming a vet to his current cutting-edge practice where the future of medicine is bursting with untold hope. Noel promises that the show will also feature, “An ocean of belly laughs, which people won’t expect.”
The centrepiece of the “Welcome to My World” tour, which begins at Venue in Hull on 27 September, is a stunning “Bionic Bunker” which Noel has had specially constructed for the show. Inside the bunker he intends to reveal, for the very first time, the secrets behind many of the inventions that have audiences riveted to his TV show.
This will provide a deeply immersive experience, employing state of the art technology to project Noel into a virtual reality operating theatre where for the very first time we can explore the inspirations behind Noel’s medical miracles.
In this way, he will be able to demonstrate his ground-breaking veterinary techniques to the audience. He will show how the pioneering work he has spearheaded with bionics and regeneration is suddenly making everything possible in medicine, sometimes in animals long before we can have that same treatment in humans.
”Welcome to My World” will be an unforgettable night: a Supershow from The Supervet.
The morning I meet Noel to discuss the show in a central London hotel, he has come straight from an all-night operation to save a very sick dog. Ever the innovator, he had utilised a titanium shell inspired by a beer barrel to replace the dog’s femur bone for a hip replacement. Such an experience would total a lesser person, but he is fresh as a daisy. His energy is a wonder to behold.
You will no doubt be delighted to learn that the Irishman is just as mesmerising off screen as he is on it. He possesses an infectious lust for life and can be summed up by all those adjectives beginning with C: charismatic, compelling, captivating, comic and charming. He is a riveting force of nature.
In addition, Noel boasts a winning sense of humour. At one point, for example, he reveals that, “There will be no real animals in the show – unless my dog Keira makes an appearance. But that depends on her.”
“It’s currently open to discussion because her agent is very demanding. If we don’t put her special fuzzy toy on the rider, there’ll be no appearance from her. So there are a lot of negotiations going on right now.”
The Supervet goes on to laugh that “Welcome to My World” will also include some surprising revelations and photos from his little-known past. He will disclose, for instance, that he went to drama school and once played a vet in a popular TV series.
He adds that, “Audiences will also see how I was beyond resplendent as a knitwear model wearing a very fine sweater to make the money to get me through school.” Can’t wait!
“Welcome to My World” will open with Noel’s first memories of wanting to become a vet. He recalls with great clarity the occasion when as an 11 year old boy he went out to check the sheep on the family farm at two in the morning.
Noel, who grew up loving comic book superheroes and The Six Million Dollar Man, remembers how, despite his very best efforts, a newborn lamb died after he had rescued its mother from a drain. “He died in front of my eyes. There I was at the age of 11 watching life passing away.”
“I was lying on the grass looking up at the brightest stars in heaven feeling useless, helpless, weak, nothingness, wishing I was more than a small speck in the universe. At that moment, I developed a very clear sense of what I was supposed to do with my life. And that was to make a real difference for all of the animals.”
So Noel invented a superhero character in his head. “He became The Supervet, but back then he had the rather less impressive name of Vetman! He could solve all the problems of the animal world and sprinkle his magic bionic dust on everything to fix it. He’ll undoubtedly put in an appearance during the live show – which will be something to behold!”
“That was 35 years before it actually happened. So the show is about being allowed to believe that one day maybe your dream could also come true.”
After that in “Welcome to My World,” Noel will be transported into his Bionic Bunker. The Supervet explains the point of it. “We are going to create the future of medicine in front of people. The audience will come with me into a medical time machine. We are going to show them the future before it happens.”
“I’m beside myself with excitement about the Bionic Bunker because I will be the bloke in there having all the fun. I’m like a child with a crayon about to draw his first picture. Regardless of how cynical we adults have become, I’m still an 11-year-old in my head!”
Noel would like the audience at “Welcome to My World” to feel very much part of the action on stage. “I want to give people a front row seat inside my mind. In my head, they’re all sitting beside me. If I could bring them all on stage, I would. I want to answer most of the questions I get asked by young and old alike.”
Noel is also keen to emphasise that the show will catalogue some of the ups and downs faced when one is trying to change the medical world for the better forever. “It’s not all a bed of roses,” he says, “and you’ll get to see that up close and personal in a way that I’ve never had the opportunity to explain before. It’s a deeply personal journey for me and for anyone who ever had a massive dream. It’s literally ‘welcome to my world’, in all of its joy, sadness and everything in between.”
The ultimate aim of the show is for Noel to underline the vital bond humans have with animals. It will illuminate how pets are an integral part of any family and the challenges families will go to repay the unconditional love that animals share with them. Noel will explore the ethical dilemmas too in the show. He says “it’s not enough to be able to do something, it must be the right thing to do!”
In the show, Noel is hoping to emphasise the inspirational effect that animals can have on our lives. “When we come home and our dogs licks our face or our cat sits up on our knee and purrs, we know that unconditional love saves us from ourselves and from all the bad news on the television.”
“In many lives, a pet represents a kind of love you don’t get on the internet, on television or sometimes even in real life. All the power, all the money – nothing matters by comparison with love. The take-home message is that the love you feel for the animal in your life makes you the very best version of yourself.”
Noel continues that “If you can translate the unconditional love that somebody feels for an animal into a tangible life force in a world that desperately needs light, then you’ve actually achieved something.”
The vet would also like to develop the idea that only positive emotions can emerge from a connection with animals. “How many times in your life can you go to a show where you know with absolute certainty that the person sitting to your left and your right is a good person? They wouldn’t have bought a ticket if they weren’t! If you wanted to build a community of compassion, you’d build it through animals.”
The Supervet closes by reflecting on what he hopes audiences will gain from coming to “Welcome to My World.” “I’d like it to be an antidote to all the terrible things that are going on in the world. There’s something in this show for you, whether you’re eight or 80. I hope it’ll make people laugh, as well as inspire and educate them.”
“Above all, I hope people will have an amazing night and feel the warmth of the occasion. The most treasured moments are created when you feel most loved.”
Before he has to dash off to perform another life-saving operation, I ask Noel if he ever considered another title for the show. “Initially,’ he reveals, “I wanted to call it ‘Love, Hope and Redemption’.
“But then I realised that sounded like the sort of song Jon Bon Jovi would have written if he ever went off the boil! Going off the boil is not for me. Let’s get this party started. Bring it on!”
Noel Fitzpatrick’s UK Tour will be at East of England Showground, Peterborough on November 23rd, for tickets and venues: noelfitzpatricklive.com
Words: James Rampton