As humans recognise their environmental responsibilities, it is timely to investigate the influence celebrities have on social causes, including conservation. Recently, Brown explored the conservation influence of Steve Irwin. In our commentary, we argue that Irwin was not a conservation champion but an environmental celebrity. His style, while entertaining, was intrusive and his knowledge of biodiversity limited. Nonetheless, his effects to conserve wildlife through land acquisition and popularise conservation will be long lasting. Awareness is key to conservation, and Irwin brought issues to the fore. However, his role in imparting knowledge and respect for animals is debateable.