Prescription for fame! The glamorous TV doctors cashing in on pandemic demand for all things health related with reality shows, Instagram posts and book deals – and potentially QUADRUPLING their NHS salaries
- New band of ambitious media-savvy medics are enjoying lucrative collaborations and reality TV gigs on the back of their television appearances
- Former Strictly star Dr Ranj, 41, a children’s doctor in real-life, regularly posts the perks of being a TV doc, with gifted items galore on his Instagram page
- Meanwhile Dr Zoe Williams, 40, has fronted a host of BBC shows after appearing as This Morning’s resident doctor
- Emily Andre, 31, is carving out a new on-screen career for herself and has amassed more than 250,000 followers in just four months on Instgram
- Celebrity agent Jonathan Shalit tells FEMAIL how juggling medicine and a media career could see the most marketable doctors earn four times their NHS salaries
Step aside Dr Hilary, there’s a new band of camera-friendly doctors in town.
If TV doctors were once the kind of medical professionals you’d find in a sedate country practice, the latest graduates in the world of TV doctors are an altogether more glamorous, ambitious bunch, with the energy to pinball between television studios and hospital wards – documenting their very busy days on Instagram as they go.
Juggling a high-profile media career with a gruelling NHS schedule might sound exhausting…but there are rich financial rewards for those who manage it, with book deals, reality TV gigs and Instagram colloborations galore having the potential to earn as much as four times their doctor’s salary.
While traditionally those looking to boost their earnings might do private practice work on the side, a media career is certainly a much more glamorous and fun route to take – not to mention lucrative.
While a NHS junior doctor currently earns around £28,00 to £32,000, a qualified hospital doctor’s basic salary is around £38,000, peaking at £49,000. Meanwhile, a GP usually takes home between £60,000 and £90,000 depending on experience.
British talent manager Jonathan Shalit, who has worked with the likes of Elton John, Charlotte Church and Cher, says there’s potential for the most high-profile TV doctors to earn big bucks.
‘An appearance on daytime television talking about health might earn a doctor between £200 and £500 but if they get an endorsement, they can earn up to around £10,000. If they write books and do public speaking, there’s the chance to probably quadruple their NHS income.’
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TikTok doc: Junior doctor Dr Emeka Okorocha, pictured, has 218,000 followers on TikTok, thanks to his videos…Celebrity agent Jonathan Shalit says high-profile TV doctors can easily quadruple their NHS salaries from endorsements, book deals and television appearances
‘At this moment, when health is so important, now’s a time when TV doctors are very much in demand – younger doctors can often connect more with an audience. TikTok star Dr Emeka, for example, looks good, he’s impressive and he talks with authority and has clearly worked hard – that’s very marketable.’
He notes too that you can’t work full-time for the NHS and have a flourishing media career: ‘If you’re a full-time NHS employee, you’re going to be limited in what you can do. I suspect they’re all part-time.’
Sally Windsor, Publicist for Big Talent Group, agrees: ‘With the challenging times we are in, our medical needs are in the forefront of our minds, so seeing someone relatable on the TV who knows their stuff – is both reassuring and educational.’
Here, FEMAIL looks at the news docs on the block – and how they’re raking in the cash away from the surgery or hospital ward.
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DR RANJ SINGH
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 287K
DEALS: Lots of Reality TV and quiz show appearances plus daytime television. Paid partnerships on social media with Luxury christmas trees, Procook, Furniture Village and Frank Olsen Furniture
The Instagram doctor will see you now! Dr Ranj Singh, 41, manages to juggle his NHS role as a children’s doctor with countless reality television appearances including Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Sewing Bee and Crystal Maze
Dr Ranj has swelled his NHS earnings with social media collabs – including this one with Amazon UK – and regularly reveals the gifts he’s received including expensive coffee machines and swanky furniture
The rise and rise of Dr Ranj began when he landed a deal with CBeebies show Get Well Soon in 2012, and the ambitious star, who trained as a paediatric emergency medicine specialist, hasn’t looked back since.
While Dr Ranj continues to work as a hospital doctor – including currently working in a children’s intensive care unit, a large chunk of the 41-year-old’s time is now taken up with his media work.
A slew of reality television shows have followed since his career-boosting appearance on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 – with commerical deals also pouring in.
He regularly shares items that have been gifted to him on social media – including a Sage coffee machine, which retails at around £500, luxury Frank Olsen furniture and crockery from Procook.
Most recently seen on The Great British Sewing Bee, Crystal Maze, Pointless, The Hit List and Catchpoint, charismatic Dr Ranj continues to be a regular face on television screens.
The TV presenter has won a BAFTA for his presenting and is regularly lauded for helping to debunk medical myths. His latest book, A Superhero Like You is out now.
A Sikh, Dr Ranj was previously married to a woman before coming out as gay in 2012; he has since fought for better rights for the LBGTQ community.
DR EMEKA OKOROCHA
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 53,800
DEALS: Regular TV appearances, star of BBC show Junior doctors, plus deals with Grenada, Gillette, Lynx and Killa Vanilla
London hospital doctor Dr Emeka Okorocha, 24, has won 218,000 fans so far on TikTok with his videos from the front line – over on Instagram, he’s also partial to a colloboration or three, including with low-carb brand Grenade (pictured above)
And at work…the A&E junior doctor has been passionate about persuading people to get the vaccination in his social media posts in recent weeks
The A&E junior doctor, who’s from a long line of doctors, is just 24 but has already made a name for himself with countless appearances on television news and daytime television plus a slot on BBC Three show Junior doctors: Blood, sweat and tears.
It’s his TikTok videos that have really caught the eye of fans though – and his videos from the front line have seen him quickly amass 218,000 followers since the social media platform exploded in the first lockdown.
The smiley doctor’s most recent posts asks people to get vaccinated and discounts the conspiracy therorists.
Alongside his flourishing television career, there plenty of collabs too with Gillette, Lynx and Grenade all frequently popping up.
Also a regular sight on Dr Emeka’s social pages is his six-pack…
DR ZOE WILLIAMS
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 73.9K
DEALS: This Morning GP, BBC Horizon presenter, partnerships with Oddbox, Superdrug and others
London GP Dr Zoe Williams has fronted a host of BBC shows after landing the role as one of This Morning’s GPs – and has also partnered with brands including Oddbox and Superdrug on her Instagram page
The GP pictured in her London surgery; Williams appeared on Celebrity Mastermind in December and has also fronted health related shows including Trust Me, I’m a Doctor
Perhaps always destined for the spotlight, GP Dr Zoe Williams’ first brush with fame came in the shape of Sky One’s revival of Gladiators in 2008, in which the super-fit medic appeared as Amazon.
However, fast forward more than a decade and Dr Zoe is now a familiar face on daytime television thanks to her ability to explain complex medical issues to mainstream audiences on This Morning.
The regular gig with hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield has unlocked a world of opportunity with the GP appearing in countless health-related shows including Trust Me, I’m a Doctor and controversial Horizon show The Restaurant that Burns off Calories.
Instagram partnerships with Oddbox and Superdrug have also swelled the star’s bank balance. Elsewhere, there’s been other profile-raising appearances including Celebrity MasterMind and Fully Monty on Ice, designed to encourage women to check their breasts.
Expecting her first child with partner Stuart McKay, the 40-year-old revealed that she froze her eggs in 2018 and considered parenthood using a sperm donor ahead of meeting McKay in Portugal in 2019.
DR ALEX GEORGE
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 1.6 million
DEALS: Reality TV and quiz shows, collaborations with Persil, Pandora, FitBit
Love Island Alex Geroge, 29, has garnered 1.5million Instagram followers since he appeared on the reality show three years ago…while he’s remained a committed A&E doctor, Alex has enjoyed deals that fame have brought his way
Limelight: the celebrity doctor was most recently seen on Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel
Collabs on social media include a deal with Fitbit, Persil and Pandora jewellery
A&E doctor Alex George temporarily became known more for his six-pack and his romantic endeavours than his ten years of training to be an emergency doctor.
Now 29, George is currently on the front line in the NHS’ fight against Covid, regularly documenting the trials of working in a London hospital during the pandemic.
He graduated from his medical degree in 2015 and spent a year at Kings College Hospital before joining Lewisham Hospital, where he has remained ever since. In November, he announced he would be leaving his current role at Lewisham hospital to train as a GP next summer.
Since his stint on the reality television show, Dr George has regularly updated his huge following with posts on day-to-day life in the NHS on his Instagram and YouTube channels. In terms of television appearances, the celebrity doctor was most recently seen on Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel – and the deals keep rolling in. Collabs with Fitbit, Persil and jewellery firm Pandora are among the deals the A&E doctor has featured on his Instagram channel in recent months.
In July 2020, Alex suffered personal tragedy when he lost his younger brother Llyr to suicide.
DR EMILY ANDRE
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 253K
DEALS: OK Magazine columnist, regular daytime television appearances, YouTube channel
Junior doctor in the house: despite joining Instagram just four months ago, Emily already has 253,000 followers
The 31-year-old mother of two is sharing more on the couple’s YouTube channel, with Peter recently filming his wife receiving the first of her covid jabs
With a health and parenting role for OK magazine and recent appearances on daytime television shows including Lorraine and Loose Women, Emily looks let to land more lucrative media work
Junior doctor Emily Andre first rose to fame because of her famous partner – pop star Peter Andre – after the pair met while she was still studying.
Now the 31-year-old mother-of-two has begun to carve out a media role that focuses on her health and parenting skills, with a regular column in OK! magazine already underway.
Despite joining Instagram just four months ago, Emily’s appeal is clear – she has more than quarter of a million followers despite only posting 11 times so far.
While husband Peter has collabs galore on his Instagram page, Emily has rarely promoted items under her own name, with a Happy charity sweater her only gifted item.
The couple’s YouTube channel, The Andres, has more than 53,000 subscribers with recent videos showing Peter filming his wife getting the first Covid vaccination.
DR RANGAN CHATTERJEE
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS: 238,000
DEALS: Hosts his own Radio 2 show, has written four best-selling health books, appeared on BBC One show Doctor in the House
Dr Rangan Chatterjee has taken a new show on Radio 2, with his media star firmly in the ascendant
The star of BBC One show Doctor in the House has written four Sunday Times best-sellers
The doctor’s Instagram page has 238,000 followers…but collaborations are in short supply, with the doctor of 20 years plugging his own books instead
With more than 20 years as a doctor under his belt, Dr Rangan Chatterjee has moved into the media mainstream with his new BBC Radio 2 show.
He’s also published four best-selling books – and his latest, Feel Great, Lose Weight, looks set to go the same way.
The 43-year-old father hosts regular podcasts and has appeared on television frequently during the Covid crisis. Also seen on BBC One show Doctor in the House, Dr Chatterjee’s star is firmly in the ascendant.
Partnerships on Dr Chatterjee’s Instagram are rare, with his focus much more on promoting his own books and recent interviews with stars in the world of well-being including Joe Wicks and Professor Tim Spector.
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