By Holly Byrnes, National TV editor, News Corp Australia
MOVE over Oprah – Outback Wrangler, Matt Wright is about to become the flavour of the month with US television fans, after wowing an international media packflown into his Northern Territory croc rescue operation and left stunned by his hands-on, Steve Irwin-style work life.
Escorted by NatGeo WILD’s public relations manager, Molly Mulrain, staff writers from the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Uproxx and Blastr, as well as freelancers for Wired and Mens Journal magazines were treated to a “boys’ own adventure” to Wright’s property, near Sweets Lagoon and the Litchfield National Park, ahead of season two of his hugely-popular series premiering in the US on January 13.
And if Mulrain’s account of the tour is a taste of the positive word-of-mouth to come from the TV junket, Wright’s profile is poised to skyrocket, with the Washington-based executive blown away by the “authentic” crocodile hunter.
“He’s got it all for sure,” she told TV Insider.
“It’s been an easy sell. So far my journalists all have huge man crushes on Matt and they are absolutely obsessed with his lifestyle and him. They haven’t stopped talking about it since we got back from the Northern Territory.”
The experience sounded like bucket list stuff for the US city slickers, who kicked off their journey in grand style.
“We took a seaplane, which are quite common in the States, from Darwin to where Matt’s pretty much based. From the seaplane, we took a boat to another boat that had a helicopter on it. It was totally absurd. Matt doesn’t drive cars all that much, he basically flies helicopters everywhere. So one of the coolest parts of the trip was that when we went anywhere, we went in this convoy of helicopters.”
While her job is promoting wildlife series around the world for National Geographic, Mulrain said the trip was still a “big shock.”
“Matt’s life is just so authentic. He’s even more ridiculous in person.”
On the last day, Wright showed off his handy work, relocating a 4.5 metre salt water croc from a [rescue] pool in his backyard to a nearby wildlife attraction.
Mulrain set the scene: “he put this [old] door in the pool and he was standing on it, but he kept slipping into the water which was so murky you couldn’t see where the crocodile was. I was so nervous for him, I actually thought he was going to die,” she joked.
It’s little wonder Wright is a priority talent for NatGeo WILD which is poised to sell the series globally, reaching audiences in 65 countries.
Matt Wright is exclusively managed by The Fordham Company.