Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer has emerged as an unexpected sex symbol of the coronavirus pandemic.
Professor Brett Sutton has amassed thousands of female followers since the pandemic took hold, with one photo in particular setting tongues wagging.
Fans of Prof Sutton, who has fronted near-daily press conferences during the crisis, call themselves ‘Sutttonettes’.
He is known to these women as ‘Sexysutton’, ‘Chief Swoon officer’, ‘Dr Brett McHun’k and ‘CHOttie’.
The past few weeks fans have come together on social media to offer support for the hardworking professor, from Facebook to Twitter and even TikTok.
One Facebook group, ‘Brett Sutton is Hot’, has more than 9,000 followers, while the less popular ‘Brett Sutton Fan Club’ has 2,000 members and growing.
Some fans were so besotted with the medical officer they designed a line of kitchenware, linen and t-shirts with his face on them.
Across the fan pages women share photographs and video clips of Prof Sutton, with one image from his past emerging time and time again.
The photograph features a young Prof Sutton in a sleeveless shirt with flowing shoulder-length hair staring directly into the camera.
Some fans likened the young medical professional to Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder or Australian rock legend Michael Hutchence in his heyday.
‘Ok, I’m sold! I was always wondering why I found Prof Brett Sutton alluringly familiar… there’s a bit of Eddie there,’ one woman wrote.
‘Let’s clone him,’ another swooned.
‘Take me back to 1991.’
Victoria’s top medical adviser was only 20 at the time, working in Zanzibar in 1991 as part of an overseas stint before returning to Australia.
Another photo of him in 2005 wearing an earring has proved particularly popular.
While his good looks are the driving force behind his new cult status, his calm demeanour and handling of the crisis haven’t gone unnoticed.
One woman described his ‘sultry soothing tones’ while another spoke of his ‘wonderfully calming face’ which made her ‘feel really safe listening to him.’
When false rumours swirled last week Prof Sutton had resigned, fans went into meltdown.
‘There will mayhem on the streets of Victoria if he does.. women will protest… it will be ANARCHY I tell you!’ one woman wrote.
‘Seriously, he can’t leave we depend on him, we need him!’
But fans were pleased to discover Prof Sutton was simply taking a two-day reprieve from his role as the state’s top medical adviser.