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60 seconds with… TV supervet Noel Fitzpatrick

The idea of Supervet in an arena is strange. What is it?

In a nutshell, it’s a journey of my life and everybody else’s life, from childhood frustration, not being very bright, trying hard at school, being bullied, having animals as friends, reading about superheroes…

What’s the format?

It’s a circular stage. I revolve through aspects of what created the world we live in through medicine: from having lived with animals in caves, through the Industrial Revolution, to our obsession with material things and back to the love revolution.

It sounds like the London Olympics opening ceremony.

I want it to be the opening ceremony to the 2030 Olympics — it’s very futuristic.

Inspiration: Freddie Mercury

Are you surprised this could fill an arena?

Not at all because of one simple thing: the world badly needs love and hope. What people see in their animals is unconditional love.

Do you think that’s a particularly British thing? That we’re better being emotional with pets than with friends?

I think it’s a general thing across the world. I talk about the show sometimes as like Indiana Jones searching for the Holy Grail of Love. It’s a roller-coaster ride until we get to the virtual operating theatre that shows us the future and then asks some big questions about how we want to shape the world. I knew this was possible from the time I saw Freddie Mercury at Slane Castle.

What does Freddie Mercury have to do with it?

I’m a teenage boy and I’m in a field of mud with more than 90,000 people watching a guy in a white tracksuit hold up a crown and sing One Vision and have those 90,000 people in the palm of his hand. In that moment I knew everything was possible.

You’re like a preacher!

I like to think of it more as I’m a messenger to hold your hand through something you already know is there. I don’t really care about the money, the ego, the fame. I enjoy giving a message and I enjoy operating because I enjoy healing.

Would you do it for free, then?

Yes, I would. Bear in mind I employ 260 people and have had to build three hospitals and borrow millions of pounds to do that but if I had those shackles removed, I would a million per cent do it for zero pence. I intend to die cost-neutral. Everything I have is going to be left to the Humanimal Trust.

You can say that because you don’t have kids…

Correct. But if I had children I would expect that they would have the same respect for life and love that I have. I wasn’t handed a silver spoon and I wouldn’t expect that they would be. I would teach them that the only way you can get what you want is to be nice and compassionate. In fact, I had a conversation with the Queen about this and she agreed.

Ziggy Stardust: Noel’s fancy dress

Love that you can drop that name in there!

She said that one of the things about the education system is that it should be more about what you can do as a community. It was a very profound statement, I thought.

You’re very driven. What do you do for fun?

Rock concerts. I’ve been to The O2 and Wembley Arena a bazillion times as well as Reading Festival and Glastonbury.

So no binge-watching box sets?

I don’t have time.

Isn’t it bad for your brain to be ‘on’ all the time?

Not really, because I’m a child. For my birthday party we had three rock bands and I dressed as Ziggy Stardust and went mental. All my staff went mental. I’m surrounded by people who understand that we have to have fun and work. I even dressed as Darth Vader and danced with the Boogie Storm Troopers.

So how nervous are you going to be when the day comes that you have to go out on that massive stage?

It is daunting but when I kick open the doors of the operating theatre, do you think I’m not a little bit scared before I go in? But what happens when the doors to the theatre open? I’m fine! I’m going to try and visualise that the arena is kicking the doors of the theatre open.

Fitzpatrick’s tour runs from September 29 until November 25,