I told Dr Chris to watch his back! Robert Irwin recalls his first time on the I’m A Celeb Australia set

When Robert Irwin steps into the jungle to co-host I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! on March 24, it won’t be his first time on set.

At 10, he, along with mum Terri and sister Bindi, made a surprise guest appearance in camp. And it was then he knew he’d found his dream job.

“This little knee-high to a grasshopper, bowl cut kid comes in,” he tells The Weekly, recalling the scene.

“I remember showing up to the set meeting Julia (Morris) and Dr Chris (Brown) and my eyes were just so wide looking at that. Because I’m used to documentary filming, I’m used to TV, but it was just such a unique vibe over there. The atmosphere is electric.

Robert, Terri and Bindi Irwin on the set of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
It won’t be Robert’s first time in the jungle…

“I remember watching it and just going, ‘Man!’. And then I saw all the contestants and I was like, ‘I‘ve got to be part of this.’ That sense of camaraderie was amazing.

“I just went, ‘I want to be part of it one day.’ I’m not kidding – I’m not just saying it because I have this job. I went, ‘I’m going to host this one day.’ Looked at Dr Chris dead in the eye and said, ‘You watch your back, mate.’”

At this Robert breaks into laughter, quickly assuring us he’s joking. Not about wanting the job, of course, but of the likelihood of him facing off with the former I’m a Celebrity… host, who is now contracted to the Seven network.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01:  Dr Chris Brown and Robert Irwin pose at the 60th Annual Logie Awards at The Star Gold Coast on July 1, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Great mates: Dr Chris Brown and Robert Irwin at the 2018 TV WEEK Logie Awards. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The pair are actually on great terms, Robert assures us. In fact, when you think about the two men and their passions, it’s entirely unsurprising that the 20-year-old is the natural successor for seasoned TV host, Dr Chris, 45. It’s not just the fact they’ve made a career caring for and protecting animals; they’ve also bonded over their shared love of photography.

“I have gotten a lot of really great advice (from Dr Chris),” he says of their previous meetings. “We are similar. A lot of what our exchanges have been around is cameras – what lens do you use here or what do you do there? The photography community is actually quite tight knit so there are a lot of conversations around that. And at the moment, jumping into (I’m a Celebrity…) I am very much open to advice!”

While he’s not seen Dr Chris to ask him for some wise words, luckily there’s another friend to lean on as he readies for launch date.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 06: Robert Irwin and Julia Morris arrive for the Suit Up Runway at Melbourne Fashion Festival 2024 on March 06, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Sam Tabone/WireImage)
Robert and Julia Morris took the the runway together that the Melbourne Fashion Festival

“I want to really make this my own but learn from the pros,” he says. “And who better to learn from than Julia? She’s got a wealth of knowledge, she’s hilarious and just gives so much energy. And mate, when you have a conversation with her, you feel smarter coming out the other end of it, you really do. She’s just so in tune, so professional and is just a very kind individual to work with.

“She is never knocking anyone down, she’s building everyone up. She’s leading through positivity, smashing every goal, achieving the pinnacle of success and doing it in a positive way. Massive points for that. Julia is a legend in my eyes. She is very cool. “

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! airs on Ten and 10play from March 24.

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