Steve Irwin made ‘very, very weird’ speech before death, says producer

What did Steve Irwin know?

“The Crocodile Hunter” producer John Stainton opened up about his late friend on a recent episode of the “I’ve Got News For You” podcast, in which he and host Andrew Bucklow discussed Irwin’s last days — while filming his ill-fated 2007 documentary “Ocean’s Deadliest.”

Stainton couldn’t help but feel that “something was wrong” while filming, especially during an ominous speech by Irwin to his crew, one which his producer called “very, very weird.”

“The Crocodile Hunter” producer John Stainton opened up about the death of Steve Irwin on the “I’ve Got News For You” podcast.
Photo by Greg Barrett/Discovery Channel/Mgm/Kobal/Shutterstock

Their shoot at Australia’s Batt Reef, off the coast of Queensland, would become Irwin’s last adventure as the beloved zoologist was impaled by a stingray barb on Sept. 4, 2006.

“A couple of days before we started the show, he made a little speech to all the crew that were up there catching crocs for his research trip — which I joined at the end with our crew,” said Stainton. “He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him. It was like a finale speech.”

Steve and Terri Irwin with producer John Stainton
Producer John Stainton, pictured here with the Irwins, witnessed his friend’s fatal brush with a stingray at Batt Reef in Queensland, Australia.
Bei/Shutterstock

The TV producer witnessed his friend’s tragic death, every horrific second of which was caught on camera.

Stainton couldn’t shake the foreboding he felt before he joined the crew of “Ocean’s Deadliest” and revealed that he’d had a “premonition” of his own death ahead of the trip — inspiring him to write a living will and undergo multiple medical checks before filming.

News of Irwin’s death devastated the world, which had come to revere the tirelessly enthusiastic animal lover and daredevil during his 10 years as host of “The Crocodile Hunter” and its spin-offs.

During a press conference in the wake of Irwin’s death, Stainton had said that his friend died doing “what he loved.”

Steve and Terri Irwin
Steve Irwin, with help from his wife, Terri, would spend 10 years as the star of “The Crocodile Hunter” and its spin-offs.
Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection
Steve, Terri and Bindi Irwin
Irwin is survived by his wife, Terri, and daughter Bindi — pictured here as a toddler in 2002 — and their youngest, son Robert.
Myung Jung Kim/PA EMPICS/ABACAUSA.COM

Irwin is survived by his wife, Terri, 57, and their children, Bindi, 23, and Robert, 17, all of whom followed in their father’s footsteps as zookeepers and stars of the reality series “Crikey! It’s the Irwins” on Discovery+.

In a 2018 interview with The Post, Robert said of his father, “He was the original wildlife warrior. I absolutely love continuing that work.”

Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin
Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin, stars of “Crikey! It’s the Irwins.”
Kate Berry

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