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Professor Noel Fitzpatrick with Lexi The Supervet at Christmas

Noel Fitzpatrick is back and his work is even more important at this time of year, as we see in C4’s The Supervet at Christmas

Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick’s on a mission to get three ill pooches home in time for Christmas in this pawsitively pawfect festive special (two puns in one sentence – barking!).

Bran is a three-legged, 11-month old German shepherd puppy who needs a hip replacement; Gabbana is an 11-year-old Shih Tzu with painful neck-related problems; and Lexi is a three-month-old French bulldog puppy urgently rushed in after being attacked by another dog.

Noel and his team are determined to make them better, and if anyone can save them, veterinary pioneer Noel can… 

In between life-saving surgeries, Noel, who turns 52 on 13 December, tells TV Times more…

Bran The Supervet at Christmas

Little Bran needs a hip replacement and some TLC in The Supervet at Christmas on C4

Does your work mean even more to you at Christmas time?

Yes, it’s very important that we do the right thing for as many animals as possible, especially at Christmas because it’s a time for love, sharing and family, and our pets are family, too.

The one message I want to get out to the world is that animals have feelings, wants and needs, and deserve a fair deal.

What can you tell us about the cases on The Supervet at Christmas?

We have two rescue dogs: Bran needs a hip replacement and Gabbana has neck problems that are causing compression of her spinal cord, resulting in a lot of pain.

Euthanasia is a legitimate option for both of these dogs, so we sit down with the families and give them all the choices.

Off screen, it’s a big ethical process, with numerous meetings and 52 forms.

What’s your advice for anyone planning on getting a new pet this Christmas?

A pet is part of your family.

If you’re not prepared to look after an animal in sickness and in health until death do us part, then please don’t do it.

A lot of animals given as presents at Christmas end up in rescue centres in January and February.

Do you have any seasonal tips for pet owners?

Every pet is different, so you need to know the bandwidth for your pet.

What are their emotional tolerance levels for separation?

That way you can integrate them into the festivities.

Some pets are happy to be left by themselves for hours – some humans, too! – but others don’t like to be left alone for too long.

For full listings, see our TV Guide.

TV Times rating: ****

Elaine Reilly
Elaine Reilly

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab) covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.