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Robert Irwin's earnest admission: 'All my life I've wanted to be exactly like Dad'

The I'm A Celebrity host has opened up about how photography has helped him feel close to the late Steve Irwin.

Robert Irwin's carved a name for himself outside of his famous father's footsteps, and now the 19-year-old star has opened up about how following his two life passions has made him feel connected to the late Steve Irwin.

The newly named co-host of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! has spoken to The Courier Mail about how his passion for photography and conservation has given him an ongoing connection to his father. Robert was just two years old when Steve died in 2006.

Robert's first photography book Robert Irwin's Australia was released last year to critical acclaim and he credits photography for giving him a purpose.

“You know, all my life all I’ve ever wanted was to be exactly like Dad, but also to find my own place in his world,” Robert told The Courier Mail.

Steve Irwin with his kids Bindi and Robert, and Robert Irwin as an adult
Robert Irwin has opened up about how photography has helped him feel close to his late father Steve Irwin. Photo: Getty/instagram.com/robertirwinphotography

“I was just itching to find that place and photography gave me that. But it also gave me a connection to Dad, and a purpose."

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Robert continued, saying that advancing his photography career helped him push his father's legacy about wildlife protection.

"Everything he did, everything he recorded, everything he documented, well, it kind of stopped, and it stopped abruptly, which is what happens when someone dies unexpectedly. And this is one of my ways of continuing his work.”

Robert admitted he is hypercritical of his own work.

“For every 10,000 images I take there is maybe one or two I like. No one is more critical of my photos than me," he shared.

"I wanted to tell a story of Australia and its landscapes and wildlife and all the challenges it faces through photos, and I knew that if I wanted to tell it properly, those photos had better be good.”

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