Lisa Wilkinson has revealed how her recent interview with the Irwin family at Australia Zoo left her in an awkward spot.
The Sunday Night Project co-host went to visit Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin to talk about how their lives have changed 12 years after Steve died.
Bindi, 20, revealed that she has graduated from her TAFE course where she was studying business and that Robert has “almost graduated” too.
At just 15, Robert told Wilkinson that Terri had enrolled them both in distance education.
“I’ve just been able to work through everything quicker,” he said.
Terri, 54, chimed in, saying he had finished studying business, and joked that she can “retire”.
When asked if he felt pressure of following in his father’s footsteps after taking on the responsibility of feeding the crocodiles at the zoo, he said: “I feel closest to dad when I’m working with the animals that he really loved.”
Wilkinson also talked to Robert about his rise to fame through his appearances on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night TV talk show in the US.
They were playing with meerkats at the time, and after the interview aired, Wilkinson told the audience that they got closer than whatshe anticipated.
“One of them literally crawled up my leg and into my dress, got right up the back and would not let go of my bra,” she said.
During the interview, Terri also played up to Wilkinson’s questions about her reported romance with Russell Crowe, 54, which have dominated the women’s magazines.
“I am in love with him, I am desperately and totally in love,” Terri sarcastically joked.
“I’m calling him right after this show.”
But then she took a more genuine, heartfelt tone, saying: “I do love Russell, I do really really think the world of him.”
She said he “loves wildlife” and he’s “very considerate” of what they’re doing and he’s a “good guy”.
Wilkinson also asked the Irwins about Bindi’s relationship with her boyfriend Chandler Powell.
Terri said he was a “good guy” who was “very kind to Bindi” and like a “big brother” to Robert.
“I can’t fault him,” she said.
View this post on Instagram
Happy Birthday, @ChandlerPowell!!! Today has been so much fun celebrating you ❤️ You’ve brought endless amounts of light and laughter to my every day. I’m blessed to spend this whirlwind adventure of life with you. You’re amazing. Here’s to a million more moments together just like the one captured in this photo. I love you with all my heart. Today, tomorrow, always.
A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on
But when Bindi and Chandler, 22, were pressed about a future engagement, they were aware of the public’s focus on them and that it would happen “eventually”.
Terri added that if Steve were alive, she would think that he would “cherish” the moment in time they were all experiencing together.
She referred to Bindi having a “special boyfriend”, and Robert “going from strength to strength” as he continued to learn more things about running their zoo.