TV

Chris Bath makes her return to TV for The Invictus Games

'The hardest part will be not crying!'

By Helen Vnuk
For Chris Bath, the Invictus Games isn't about sport.
The former Channel Seven presenter is hosting the ABC's nightly program Invictus Games Today, to air during the Games in Sydney later this month.
"When people have said, 'It's like the Olympics for returned service people,' I've said, 'Well, it's a lot more than that,'" Chris, 51, tells TV WEEK.
"For me, Invictus is about love, not sport. It's about love of your fellow man. It's about love of your country. It's also about the love that these people have been shown, because the carers and the crew around the competitors get included in the Games."
She says the competitors will "just blow your mind".
"I think the hardest part about the live show is going to be not crying," she says.
Chris Bath is hosting the Invictus Games coverage.
Chris is also the narrator of the documentary Fighting Spirit: The Wheeling Diggers' Invictus Games Dream. It follows a group of wounded soldiers trying out for Australia's wheelchair rugby team.
There's former special forces commando Peter Rudland, who was in a 2010 Black Hawk helicopter crash that killed four soldiers. Since then, he's had 31 operations.
There's also Trudi Lines, an air force veteran who came under enemy fire on her first deployment to Afghanistan. As well as physical injuries, she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It breaks your heart," Chris says. "I was sitting in a voice booth, watching the doco, and it was a bit of a struggle. It really brings home that Invictus isn't just about the injuries you can see. A lot of it is about mental health as well."
Australian wounded soldier Trudi Lines.
The Invictus Games are the brainchild of Prince Harry, who has served in Afghanistan himself.
Chris is scheduled to interview Harry when he arrives for the Sydney Games, although she's not entirely sure it'll happen.
"He makes a big point that meeting the veterans will be more important than doing interviews with journalists like me," she says. "That makes me admire Harry even more."
For Chris, the Games are a return to TV after focusing on radio for almost two years. As the host of Evenings on ABC Radio Sydney, she's enjoyed not having to worry about how she looks.
"I can go into work and not really load up on the make-up or worry about the hair," she says. "There have been a few people who walk into the studio and I've looked at them and said, 'Yes, that's right. TV isn't real – this is real.'"
Chris has also enjoyed escaping the media scrutiny she was under towards the end of her time at Seven. She's still "bemused" by reports of her supposed feud with Sam Armytage.
"When there's that sort of sustained stuff about nothing… it was just really bizarre. I'm glad I've left it all behind."

Chris' two decades at Seven also saw her finish runner-up to Home And Away stalwart Ada Nicodemou in Dancing With The Stars.
Viewers might remember her little boy, Darcy, cheering her on in 2005. He's now a 17-year-old "ginormous manchild" who has just finished high school.
We might just see them on set again – mother and son are keen birdwatchers, and Chris has been trying to sell people on the idea of a birdwatching show.
"They keep looking at me, going, 'Bathie, you've lost your mind,'" she says. "I go, 'No, it's got legs! Beautiful places in Australia, beautiful birds…'"
Now, she's thinking it could work, with budding ornithologist Darcy fronting it.
"Maybe he should host the show and I should just produce it," Chris says.
They could call it Bird Bath!
Fighting Spirit: The Wheeling Diggers' Invictus Games Dream airs Tuesday, October 16, 8.30pm, ABC.
Invictus Games Today airs Sunday, October 21, 7.40pm, and from Monday, October 22, 8pm, ABC.

read more from