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Tears of Crocodile Hunter's widow at TV awards


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Tears of Crocodile Hunter's widow at TV awards


Last updated at 16:10pm on 1st November 2006

terriirwin3111006REX_228x344.jpgTerri Irwin paid tribute to the 'inspiration' of Sir David Attenborough




The widow of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin broke down in tears during an emotional surprise appearance at the National Television Awards.

Terri Irwin took to the stage in trademark khaki at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony to honour natural history presenter Sir David Attenborough on her late husband's behalf.


The audience gave her a standing ovation.

It was her first appearance outside Australia since Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray eight weeks ago.

"I promised I wasn’t going to cry," she said as she stepped up to hand a lifetime achievement award to Sir David. "But I’m especially pleased to be here, because if there’s one person that directly inspired my husband it’s this man."

"As a TV presenter Steve was larger than life but his real true love was conservation and the influence of tonight’s recipient has been immense."

The compliment was returned later by Sir David, who said Irwin had introduced millions worldwide to the natural world and added: "He taught them how wonderful and exciting it was. He was a born communicator."

His remarks were all the more pointed, coming after Alistair Fothergill, producer of the BBC’s Planet Earth series - narrated by Sir David - slammed Irwin in the Radio Times for his "irresponsible style of film-making" and dismissed him as "a showman."

There were few surprises in last night’s awards, voted for by the public. This year seemed much the same as last year, with Doctor Who scooping best drama, best actress for Billie Piper and best actor for David Tennant.

Little Britain won best comedy and Ant and Dec were named best entertainment presenters, with heir nostalgic Gameshow Marathon named best quiz show.

Noel Edmonds scooped his first award in 12 years, with his Channel 4 hit Deal Or No Deal taking the best daytime programme award.

Top Gear, whose presenter Richard Hammond is recovering from a crash in a jet car during filming, was named best factual programme - prompting co-host Jeremy Clarkson to quip: "I told you if one of us had a car accident we’d win this."

BBC1 scooped seven awards in all - an embarrassment for ITV, which will screen the ceremony tonight, and which won just three.

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