Funny Business: The Rise and Fall of Steve Vizard

Synopsis

Steve Vizard had it all: wealth, fame and power, in equal and impressive proportions... Once a popular, fast-quipping TV comedian and Gold Logie winner, a lawyer and much-loved family man who had even been crowned Father of the Year', Vizard had become a trusted community hero. On the boards of countless companies, including Telstra, Vizard seemed to be involved in every aspect of public and corporate life. And through the charitable Vizard Foundation, he was seen to foster art and other good causes. Then some curious cheque transactions and the discovery of six mysterious paintings in Vizard's personal records triggered investigations into Vizard's former bookkeeper, Roy Hilliard, who, it turned out, had swindled close to $3 million from Vizard over several years. But Hilliard knew lots of secrets about his old boss, and when faced with criminal charges he hit back hard, accusing the businessman of illegal share deals and more. He portrayed Vizard as a master of deception whose public image was a charade; Hilliard depicted himself as merely the businessman's dupe. Vizard, however, saw it very differently. In this compelling story of Vizard's fall from grace, Leonie Wood seeks to uncover the man behind the public persona, and to answer the question on the lips of many: why did he do it? Was it greed, audacity or sheer stupidity? And what do we really know about Steve Vizard?