Indeed, he was so enamored of the species that when he married American naturalist Terri in 1992, crocodiles played a supporting role. The newly weds enjoyed a honeymoon trapping the reptiles together, filmed by Irwin’s friend director and producer John Stainton. Moreover, it was this footage that became the basis for the couple’s hit television show, The Crocodile Hunter, which debuted in 1996.
Subsequently, the show catapulted Irwin to global fame, in part thanks to his exuberant and enthusiastic presenting style. His catchphrase was a single word, “Crikey!” Naturalist broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough later said, “He taught them how wonderful and exciting [the natural world] was, he was a born communicator.” Ultimately, Irwin’s show won over millions of fans.
In spite of his fearless nature, there was one animal that Irwin made a rule of avoiding. In unseen footage featured in his compilation Steve’s Most Dangerous Adventures, we are given a glimpse of the animal. But it wasn’t a lion, or a giant crocodile, it was hippopotamus amphibius – otherwise known as the humble hippo.