Mudslinging Aussies stop slugging it out when it comes to hero Steve Irwin

SYDNEY - Election candidates in Australia have been slinging mud at each other for days, but both sides agreed yesterday that some reputations are sacrosanct - such as late television star Steve Irwin's.

SYDNEY - Election candidates in Australia have been slinging mud at each other for days, but both sides agreed yesterday that some reputations are sacrosanct - such as late television star Steve Irwin's.

Highly popular television satire show The Chaser's War on Everything made world headlines last month when it drove a man dressed as Osama bin Laden through security checkpoints towards visiting US President George Bush's hotel, and has raised the ire again with its latest programme.

During Wednesday's show, the comedy group performed a song that sought to poke fun at people's propensity to raise public figures to hero status after they died, while conveniently forgetting their flaws.

Some of the examples in the expletive-laden song included Irwin - star of television's The Crocodile Hunter who was killed in a stingray attack last year - Britain's Princess Diana and cricketer Donald Bradman.

Irwin became popular around the world for his wildlife show in which he regularly wrestled with crocodiles, though he once triggered controversy when he used his toddler son in a crocodile act.

"Steve Irwin lived in khaki, a cartoon kamikaze, who taunted crocs and tots so frequently," comedian Andrew Hansen sang. "But all that was forgotten after (he) took (his) final breath. Yes, even tools turn into top blokes after death." - Sapa-AP

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