Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport!

Chris “Brolga” Barnes has attained telly totty status with his new show, Kangaroo Dundee. Here are five things you need to know about the rugged, roo-mad Aussie
BySarah SwainFriday , 13 December 2013
Chris “Brolga” Barnes
Chris “Brolga” Barnes

1 He has a funny nickname
A brolga is a crane-like Australian bird. Chris is a towering 6ft 7ins tall.

2 He’s hopping mad about kangaroos
Brolga’s devoted his life to the Antipodean creatures, particularly joeys (baby kangaroos) whose mums were killed on the roads. He set up a kangaroo sanctuary in 2009 after finding a newborn joey in its dead mother’s pouch. The Alice Springs centre now cares for 200 animals a year. Brolga bottle-feeds them every four hours and even lets them sleep in his bed! He also teaches them to leap into empty pillowcases (substituted for their mothers’ pouches).

3 It’s not like Skippy
Remember <Skippy the Bush Kangaroo>, the TV roo who came to the rescue of those in need? Well, <Kangaroo Dundee> isn’t quite like that, but you’ll be reaching for the tissues when some of the orphans don’t make it. Sniff. But don’t worry, there are plenty of cute moments to make up for it.

4 Lots of Sheilas want to marry him
Since the programme started, khaki-clad Brolga’s been inundated with marriage proposals. He’s had more than 700 emails a day from smitten females who plaster his Facebook page with statements like: “Absolutely gorgeous… and the roos are cute, too.” They aren’t put off by the fact he lives in a tin shack miles from anywhere with no running water.

5 He’s not a scaredy-cat
Alpha male roo Roger often attacks Brolga, who’s raised him since he was a baby. Brolga says: “I am just getting over an attack from last week, when Roger struck me. I am a little cut up but I still love him. He’s only defending his territory.”

INFO: Kangaroo Dundee is on BBC2 each Saturday at 12.30am UAE time.