It was an unfitting end for a man who had wrestled crocodiles and eyeballed the world’s most venomous snakes. It seemed somehow tawdry, out of place. When the news came it felt like a barb through the heart. TV crocodile man Steve Irwin tragically died on Monday after an attack from a stingray, a venomous yet placid sea creature.
“It was an unfitting end for a man who had wrestled crocodiles and eyeballed the world’s most venomous snakes. It seemed somehow tawdry, out of place.”
Famous for his catchphrase “crikey” and saying things like “he’s getting awfully cranky” at a venom spitting snake, Irwin brought edge-of-the-seat wildlife baiting to the masses with his unique eye-popping presenting style. A committed conservationist, he founded several conservation projects putting money where his sizable mouth was and bought habitat to save it from developers.
It is a measure of how deeply he was loved that the public forgave him for his horribly misjudged feeding crocodiles with baby incident . He seemed unable to understand the public outcry but gave private assurances that he would never pull a stunt like that again.
“A nation descended from convicts and screws, they’ve made a virtue of no-nonsense from the gut straight-talking and an unyielding can-do attitude that he personified.”
His death has been greeted with unparalleled levels of grief in Australia. It’s hard to overestimate how fully he expressed something deep within the Australian psyche. A nation descended from convicts and screws, they’ve made a virtue of no-nonsense from the gut straight-talking and an unyielding can-do attitude that he personified. And yet, a more sophisticated metropolitan Australian audience groaned every time this walking caricature came on the screen. Rather like the ambivalent attitude we in England have towards Hugh Grant’s good-natured foppishness, Irwin was a blessing and curse for the perception of Australians abroad.
Irwin wore khaki shorts so tight even Stuart Pearce himself would wince. He bounded, he pranced and shamelessly mugged to the camera. Many, including Germaine Greer, took his death as an opportunity to sneer at his legacy. But David Bellamy described him as “one of the great showmen and conservationists” and wept as he heard the news. He is survived by his hot wife Terri who is back on the market again so it’s not all bad news.
In an industry where bland careerist scum are as plentiful as fruit on the vine it was refreshing to see someone so instantly recognisable, committed and passionate about something other than getting their face on the box.
“Irwin wore khaki shorts so tight even Stuart Pearce himself would wince. He bounded, he pranced and shamelessly mugged to the camera.”
Aerial Telly salutes The Steve Irwin. He took incredible risks with pissed off snakes and crocodiles. He took the wildlife show into new territory. He bravely sported eye-wateringly tight shorts. We will miss you Steve, you stupid bastard.
The best thing about it: He reinvigorated exciting populist wildlife programming.
The worst thing about it: He cruelly fed his own baby to a crocodile.
The verdict on The Steve Irwin: An authentic TV original. R.I.P.
Marks out of 10: 8