Steve #1 was a quintessential outback Australian success story: funny, self-deprecating, wealthy, a consummate TV entertainer. Steve #2 was a quintessential urban Australian success story: funny, self-deprecating, wealthy, a consummate TV entertainer. Yesterday, Steve #1 died in the waters off Port Douglas as he worked on a documentary that produced an appalling ending to an extraordinary life. At the same time, Steve #2 sat in a witness box in the Melbourne Supreme Court as he worked on avoiding giving answers to questions about his past financial behaviour. In the end, for all they had in common, the thing that separated the two telegenic Steves was honesty, which is why the death of Steve Irwin has become one of the biggest Australian stories and the demise of Steve Vizard has become one of the seediest.

Peter Fray

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