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Little Bindi Irwin is getting a reprieve after the great morbid fanfare over this week’s announcement that the eight-year-old would star in a wildlife series called Bindi: The Jungle Girl on the Discovery Kids network early next year.
Bindi’s dad, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, died from the poisonous stab of a stingray’s tail to the heart last month while filming for a daddy-daughter series. He left behind Bindi, her mum, Terri, and two-year-old brother, Bob.
Bindi was immediately trundled onto the worldwide stage to deliver a heartbreaking eulogy at her dad’s televised memorial service. Earlier this week, she was pushed into the spotlight again, when it was announced that she’d carry on alone with a 26-part series to air in a few months.
The eight-year-old seemed as removed from reality as she was when she read the tribute to her Daddy before a world audience. “”Some people think that I would be afraid of them, but I’m never, ever afraid of an animal,” she said. “I just get excited and, with some that are dangerous I just think, ‘Oooh! What’s going to happen?’”
Most folks understood that keeping busy would help the Irwin survivors cope with the tragic loss, but even the most crocodilian agents and TV execs got a little uneasy with the promise that the series would include scenes that Steve Irwin had taped with Bindi before his death.
Now, someone has stepped in with a bit of good sense, and is forcing Bindi and company to wait a full year before starting the series.
And it’s not Bindi’s mom, who reportedly wangled more than a million dollars from ABC for her interview with Barbara Walters days after she was widowed.
John Stainton, the family’s manager and spokesman– the man who described the video of the fatal stingray attack to the world– says he’s the reason little Bindi will have a chance to deal with Daddy’s death away from the spotlight.
Stainton says he needs to take a year off, to go on holiday or walkabout, in the wake of his old friend’s death. The delay, he insisted, had nothing to with criticism by a conservative Australian Upper House Senator that Bindi might be exploited by ratings-hungry TV producers.
Good on ya, mate.