It’s been fifteen years since Australian zookeeper, tv personality and conservationist Steve Irwin died. In a recent interview, his best friend and Crocodile Hunter producer, John Stainton, revealed what he called a “really weird” finale speech that Irwin made to his crew prior to his death.
During an appearance on the “I’ve Got News For You” podcast, Stainton shared that he tried to stop production of the project that led to Irwin’s death and that he “felt uncomfortable” about the documentary due to a deep fear that he was going to die. Stainton said that tried to cancel the project numerous times, and when he was unsuccessful he underwent medical tests and prepared a will in case something went wrong.
“I felt uncomfortable about it when we were sort of going into the production. In fact, three weeks before we were lined up to shoot I actually rang Discovery and said ‘Look at I don’t feel good about this thing’,” he said, explaining that he was told it was too late to cancel because a lot of money had already been spent on the project.
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“I just had this premonition in January that would be the last day of my life this year. I just had this really weird feeling … So much so that I went and got tests and CAT scans. I thought ‘I have to have something wrong with me’ (but) nothing came back.
“I even made a will that year in June before we went on the trip,” he added.
Stainton’s concerns were for his own life, but it was Steve Irwin who lost his life when the barb of a stingray pierced his chest after he dove off his boat on Batt Reef.
As if Stainton’s premonitions weren’t eerie enough, he revealed that Irwin himself gave a speech to his crew prior to filming the documentary that seemed “unusually final.”
“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 to do the deadliest movie. And it was really weird,” he said.
“He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him. It was like a ‘finale’ speech. Very weird,” Stainton said.
Listen to a clip of John Stainton talking about Steve Irwin’s final speech below. Or click HERE to hear the full interview with I’ve Got News for You.