Monday, September 20, 2010

The Quiet Billionaire

He has brought the world a host of the most successful soap operas ever- Reg Grundy who at 87 is publishing his autobiography.

Grundy is the quiet achiever of Australian TV. As a boxing and sporting commentator he first tasted success when he devised the Wheel Of Fortune game show which he eventually syndicated throughout the world.

Following that came shows like Sons and Daughters, Prisoner, Young Doctors and the mega hit Neighbours which has produced some of the biggest show biz stars to come out of Australia like Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue, Guy Pierce, Natalie Imbruglia, Daniel MacPherson, and Holly Valance.

Grundy reveals that Kylie Minogue had approached him once she became world famous to request that old Neighbour's shows she had appeared in were not re-broadcast. Reg rebuffed her and set her straight as to who owned the copyright of the programs-namely him !.

Grundy talks in his book about how he used to fly to the USA, book into a hotel and tape record TV shows, fly back to Australia and pitch the ideas to local stations. That paid off handsomely with Grundy eventually selling out for nearly one billion dollars to Freemantle Media.

Along the way, he and wife , the former actress Joy Chambers picked up a magnificent estate in Bermuda which came with it's own lagoon. Reg chose the spot so he could fly to New York on a 7am flight, do business for the day and return on the 7pm flight for dinner.

And he indulged his boating passion with the extraordinary super yacht Boadecia. He isn't selfish with Boadecia-you can rent it for about $150,000 a week but that does come with the 27 man crew.
These days he concentrates on his other love, photography and has produced several books on wildlife.

There is another star Grundy also helped launch. His chef on the Boadecia went on to international fame-Gordon Ramsay !

Reg Grundy is available from Boomerang Books.