Tara Brown talks to people who have done extraordinary things, writes Colin Vickery
TARA Brown admits she has been a blubbering mess since the birth of her son, Jack, in October.
The hormones have kicked in and the emotions are all over the map — which makes her the perfect person to co-host Channel 9’s You Saved My Life.
The show is a three-hanky job. It tells the stories of people who have been saved in a life-or-death situation by a total stranger, an ordinary person who does the extraordinary, risking their own life to save another.
Like Seven’s Triple Zero Heroes, each episode ends with a reunion between the saver and the saved. Brown is there to interview each one about their emotioncharged meeting.
‘‘I’m a soppy mess — it’s terrible,’’ Brown says from the home she shares with husband John McAvoy, Nine’s head of factual drama.
‘‘I’ve always considered myself to be overly emotional and it’s gone off the Richter scale now.’’
The first episode of You Saved My Life, which Brown co-hosts with Andrew Rochford, features a baby. Len Williams, a train guard, was on a routine trip from Gosford to Newcastle when he noticed something ahead in the middle of the tracks. As his train drew closer, he could see it was a baby — and the Newcastle to Sydney express was due past on that line any minute. Len risked his life to save the baby, now a 26-year-old man.
‘‘They’re everyday Australians caught out in these events and it could easily be any one of us,’’ Brown says. ‘‘We watch to see how they reacted and question whether we would do the same.
‘‘In the moment they make that decision, I don’t think being a hero is on their mind. When you speak to them they don’t think of themselves as heroes. They don’t describe themselves that way, but their deeds are certainly heroic.
‘‘Often they get hurt. Whether it’s physically or emotionally they are scarred by the experience.
‘‘You realise, being a new parent, what they’re prepared to sacrifice. You’re not just risking your own life — your children could miss out on you.’’
It is Brown’s job to bring out the emotions the people are feeling when they are reunited.
‘‘They’re on camera and that’s unnatural for most people and they’re confronted with something that’s deeply emotional. For many of them it’s quite awkward to express those feelings.’’