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Is Bindi too busy to grow up and grieve for her dad?
When Steve Irwin was working on a DVD with Bindi he was said to be at his happiest.


Louise Hall, Hannah Edwards and Mathew Benns
November 26, 2006

Bindi Irwin's meteoric and controversial rise to fame continued yesterday with the release of her kids' fitness DVD, despite her mother Terri's fears about how she is coping with her father's death.

Bindi appears singing and dancing with her wildlife campaigning father, Steve, in footage shot just before he died.

Steve's friend and manager John Stainton said yesterday Bindi would promote the DVD in a couple of weeks with a live performance, once some time could be cleared in her schedule.

"You know she really loves singing and dancing as much as she loves wildlife so for her to be able to sing and dance and muck around is great," he said, dismissing claims she was being pushed into the spotlight.

He said he hoped the DVD, aimed at encouraging kids to get into exercise and healthy living, would be the first of "half a dozen" Bindi Kidfitness episodes.

The eight-year-old had also filmed seven episodes of a 26-part series Bindi The Jungle Girl for the Discovery Channel, before her father's death interrupted production.

Bindi also appears on the cover of the Christmas edition of The Australian Women's Weekly.

In the interview Terri said she had taken Bindi and two-year-old Bob to see a psychologist.

"I asked him if everything was OK, because Bindi has been so happy.

"And he said, 'Why? Are you worried? That's what you want - a well-adjusted child who can handle a tragedy and see that life goes on.' "

Since Irwin's death in September, debate has centred on Bindi's workload.

Adolescence psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said Terri had done the right thing in getting her daughter's mental health checked.

"Initially I was pretty concerned, as I think a lot of Australians were, that this little girl wouldn't have time to grieve in an appropriate way," he said.

"I think her mother has been incredibly responsible in checking out that she is OK with someone who knows what they are talking about."

Mr Carr-Gregg said it was unlikely Bindi would be able to grow up out of the media spotlight.

"Is the idea of her releasing the exercise video a bad one? Probably not," he said. "I think this little girl is a celebrity and she is a celebrity when she is young. It's now up to her mother to make sure that she is OK."

He said both of Bindi's parents had been "extraordinarily psychologically robust".

"I guess that she has grown up with those role models and I think that she is going to do very well."

Mr Stainton defended the decision to release the DVD less than three months after Irwin's death.

"When Steve was working on this he was at his happiest," he said. "We believe he would have wanted us to release the DVD as originally planned."


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