Karl Stefanovic caught Bindi Irwin and her boyfriend Chandler Powell by surprise on Thursday as he made an eyebrow-raising comment when the pair appeared via video link on his popular breakfast show.
The young couple appeared on Today to promote Steve Irwin Day at Australia Zoo. While the loved-up duo gushed about Steve’s legacy, it didn’t take long for Karl to intervene when he jokingly suggested Bindi’s late father would not have approved of Chandler.
“Chandler, I don’t want to be uncharitable, but I’m not sure Steve would have liked you,” Karl humorously said.
“I’m not sure Steve would have like anyone going out with his daughter,” he added. “You can imagine what he would have said… ‘Crikey, if you want to go out with Bindi, you have to go wrestle a Komodo’ or something.”
The 44-year-old host continued: “Just that sheer legacy and that sheer manliness, it’s a lot to live up to.”
Chandler seemed to find Karl’s assumption amusing, replying with: “Definitely. And it definitely is an honour just to be able to continue his legacy and I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
Bindi then stepped in and said: “I think dad would have said you’ve got to swim the croc pond first and you’ll be set. So lucky Chandler used to wakeboard.”
“It works out,” she added, before sighing: “Oh dear.”
The late Steve is remembered as one of Australia’s most popular TV presenters and animal ‘whisperers’, but to Bindi, he was primarily a loving father and mentor.
The Crocodile Hunter sadly died in 2006 while filming a documentary at Batt Reef, near Port Douglas in Queensland. He is said to have begun snorkelling in shallow waters and approached a stingray underwater. According to the incident’s only witness, it stabbed him through the heart causing him to pass away shortly after.
Taking to Instagram to celebrate Steve Irwin Day, Steve’s 20-year-old daughter uploaded a sweet video of her late father on Thursday morning.
“Celebrating the greatest Wildlife Warrior and best Dad in the world,” she wrote.
Fans were quick to comment, with one writing: “The best. Long live Steve Irwin and may we continue to shed light with his legacy!”
Another added: “It’s wonderful that you and your family get to continue his dream and educate another generation!”
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.
It comes after Bindi posted a loving tribute to mark her boyfriend’s 22nd birthday earlier this week. The television personality took to Instagram to share a photo of herself and Chandler, with the caption: “Happy Birthday, @ChandlerPowell!!! Today has been so much fun celebrating you. You’ve brought endless amounts of light and laughter to my every day.”
She has been dating the professional wakeboarder for five years now.