Hero wor­ship­per

Tara Brown talks to peo­ple who have done ex­traor­di­nary things, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

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.’’

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