Steve Irwin is genuinely one of my favourite people to have ever lived. His love for his family, his love for his fans, his love for all animals - no matter how much they wanted to bite him - everything about him was just so pure.
Which is why his death and the hands of a stingray back in 2006 just felt so strange and tragic. Steve had tackled hundreds, maybe thousands of animals far more dangerous than that stingray over his career. He’s kissed crocodiles and played with snakes so venomous one bite would’ve killed him in an instant, and yet he was taken down by one unfortunately placed barb.
It was heartbreaking watching his wife Terri and daughter Bindi give speeches in memory of their father at the time, but they - along with Steve and Terri’s son Robert - have all gone on to flourish. Terri, now 53, is the owner of Australia Zoo, while Bindi, 19, is also a conservationist and won the 2015 series of Dancing with the Stars.
Even Robert, who is now 13, has appeared on shows like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to present deadly animals, showing every single one of the Irwins is keen to follow in Steve’s much-missed footprints.
This is why it’s such great news that Terri, Bindi, and Robert are all returning to Animal Planet for a new show - as announced on Bindi’s Instagram page.
“We’re so excited to be returning to Animal Planet, and our wonderful Discovery Communications family,” says Robert in the video.
“So watch out for next year, we have wonderful new adventures coming to your television screen,” adds Bindi.
“It all started in 1996 with The Crocodile Hunter, and now the Irwin family is back!” finished Terri.
There is no word yet on what exactly the Irwin family’s new show will be called, but it is set to be an action-oriented animal show, much like the ones Steve used to put on for us all those years ago.
Patrice Andrews, General Manager of Animal Planet, said: “Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature.
“Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conservation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today. We are thrilled to have Terri, Bindi and Robert back in the Animal Planet family.”
As a kid who loved animals, I was obsessed with watching just how much care Steve had for them all, and how expertly he dealt with beasts that would make most ordinary humans run a mile.
However, he knew how to treat them, he understood them, and realised that, while dangerous, most of them didn’t really want to kill him.
Watching back as an adult, I am equally impressed with how he somehow manages to never swear, despite being bitten on the face by a snake and the leg by a crocodile like in this clip below:
I’ll leave you with my favourite Steve clip, in which he deals not with a croc, or a snake, but a little bearded dragon.
He lies on the floor with his face to the little guy, as he explains to the viewer: “When he get’s all cantankerous, all cranky, he opens up his mouth, and shows this beard, and that’s a sign of toughness. ‘Stay away from me or I’m gonna bite ya!’”
As if on cue, the lizard leaps up and bites Steve right on the nose.
“You bit me on the nose you little brat!”