Robert Irwin's 'genius' rebranding move that's paid off

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Irwin reportedly turned down his massive Channel 10 gig numerous times in the past.

Robert Irwin reportedly turned down the opportunity to be on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! as a contestant multiple times before eventually saying yes to the hosting gig - a snub a source claims has really paid off for the 20-year-old.

In October, it was announced that the youngest of the Irwin clan would be replacing Dr Chris Brown as host of the successful Channel 10 reality show, with Daily Mail reporting that Robert will earn “over $430,000” for just six weeks of filming in South Africa.

Robert Irwin is joining Julia Morris as co-host of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Photo: Channel 10
Robert Irwin is joining Julia Morris as co-host of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Photo: Channel 10

According to an insider, Robert and his family have been approached by the show numerous times to be a part of it but Robert (who used to be affectionately known as Bob) has recently become the star of the Irwin show after a rebranding.

"The decision to turn down the experience all these years has really paid off for Robert, who works better as a host rather than a contestant," the source tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

The young conservationist has gained popularity online for his wildlife videos and interest in his relationship with Rorie Buckey has peaked, with Robert racking up an impressive 4.8 million followers on Instagram alone.


Robert Irwin holding a koala
The 20-year-old has had somewhat of a rebranding in recent years, according to an insider. Photo: Instagram/Robert Irwin
 Rorie Buckey and Robert Irwin on the red carpet
Public interest in Robert's relationship with Rorie Buckey has peaked. Photo: Getty Images

"Robert Irwin has been asked to do I'm A Celebrity multiple times,” the source shares.

“The Irwins holding out all these years would have been a pivotal element in negotiating this opportunity and you have to wonder if this would have happened if any of them had agreed to do the show before.

“The rebranding of Rob or Bob to Robert is genius. This feels like audiences who have grown up with him feel a part of his journey.”

When the show was first announced in 2014 casting agents were reportedly looking for an animal expert who had 'Steve Irwin vibes’.

"When you hear that piece of information you can see this is a real full circle moment. Robert Irwin is now in a job that was inspired by his father," a source said.

Dr Chris Brown made the role iconic but the news he was going to Channel Seven could have been catastrophic for the show. Robert Irwin accepting the hosting gig was “a dream result”, according to our insider.

The Irwins on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
The Irwins appeared on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2016. Photo: Channel 10

It’s believed Channel 10 screen-tested a bunch of talent for the role, who “fell flat because they were all missing something that was always a part of the role's original DNA.”

“Finding a celebrity veterinarian didn't seem like the right idea. As whoever took on that role would have always looked like they were impersonating Dr Chris, a role he had famously perfected” our source explained.

“However, the more the producer veered away from the whole animal except idea the more obvious it seemed that they needed to level up.”

It’s claimed producers feared Robert would say no to the gig after the family were believed to have turned down the opportunity to appear on the show as campmates frequently in the past.

However, Robert and his family haven’t always snubbed the show, as when the wildlife warrior was just 12 years old he and his family made a cameo appearance in the jungle during Shane Warne’s season.

The family appeared in an overnight challenge reportedly as a “make good for turning down the show twice at that stage”.

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