Tony Wilson is a broadcaster, author, television presenter and former lawyer. Once a keen footballer, he was drafted into Hawthorn as a forward, however his playing career was cut short after less than a season due to a chronic injury. Instead he chose another path.
Tony got his big break in the media winning the second season of the ABC’s Race Around the World with his observational skills and comic timing paying dividends. He has since appeared as a panellist on shows including The Einstein Factor and The Late Report, and was a World Cup correspondent on Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever.
He was a co-host on The Breakfasters on 3RRR for six years, a show which has formerly featured John Safran, Dave O’Neil and Kate Langbroek. The shift required him to get up 5am each day to discuss news, sport, politics, film, television and music.
His polished style has seen him go on to co-host Jon Faine’s Conversation Hour and Lindy Burns’s Drive program on ABC Melbourne 774, as well as appearances with Tony Martin on Triple R and 774 as The Two Tones. He also co-hosts a regular Sunday morning show ABC Grandstand Breakfast and the all football hour Top of the League.
Tony has written two novels – Players, which parodies Australian football variety show personalities and Making News, about a fallen football star in London and an unethical tabloid newspaper editor. Players won him the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist 2006. Australia United is a Gonzo journalism-style diary of his travels to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and he has also written seven children’s picture books.
As an after dinner speaker, Tony interweaves memorable stories from his failed career as a footballer and a lawyer into the successful travels and media adventures that have followed. He uses photographs and videos to help tell the story of how a lifelong dream to play AFL football expired at 25, and was replaced by a new dream.
As an MC, he will use his skill as a writer to craft a script that is funny and original for each client. Clients such as City of Yarra, CPA Australia, State Library of Victoria, Essendon Football Club, IWIRC, Superannuation Lawyers Association, Institute of Engineering and Technology and Law Institute of Victoria have all used Tony on more than one occasion.
Tony has been involved in numerous debates, both as a participant and as a facilitator. He has also combined his creative skill at constructing scenarios with his strong legal training to write and moderate successful hypotheticals’.
The easy banter and humorous off-the-cuff style honed in radio and on television has been perfect training for Tony’s speaking work, and he has become a popular choice for conferences, panels, festivals and dinners.
"Very professional, very funny - Tony wove the serious conference content with a great light hearted wit, that created seamless & relevant links between conference sessions, and provided the event with excellent light & shade"
“From a very short briefing, Tony ‘got it’-he understood our objectives, did copious research and prepared meticulously. He presented us with a hypothetical-“A Difficult Day”- that was timely, relevant and thought provoking. His presentation was well written ,and delivered in a relaxed, but business-like style, balancing humour with challenge and constantly adapting to the group’s responses, ensuring that we were fully engaged throughout the session. It was a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable part of our programme.”
Director of Development Camberwell Grammar School
“Your recommendation of Tony Wilson (a superb master of ceremonies) for the event ensured that the night was a fantastic success. I was particularly impressed with the amount of research Tony conducted prior to the event on each of our speakers, and on World Visions work. His input of key factors, anecdotes and light hearted humour throughout the night was much appreciated by all those attending, including our chief executive Mr Lynn Arnold and our board of directors.”
“ATOM highly recommends Tony Wilson as a host. Tony was articulate, easy going, entertaining and had a sincere interest on what the ATOM Awards were all about.”
Australian Teachers of Media
“Tony’s “MC’ing’ & performance during the Thursday Luncheon received some very positive comments and provided a real contrast to the seminars held during the rest of the day … We appreciated his level of professionalism which made working with him very easy.”
Law Institute of Victoria
“Thanks for recommending Tony Wilson. His role as an M.C. was smooth and relaxed. We thought he was just great with the kids. Tony asked all the right sort of questions, got them laughing and made them feel relaxed.”
Department of Education
“Tony spoke so well at the President’s Luncheon at the Law Institute that he was asked to entertain members and guests at The Institute’s major social event of the year, the annual dinner. Again he did this with style and wit. He was a big hit”
Law Institute of Victoria
“Your contribution to the discussion was most fascinating and insightful and the synergy between yourself and the other speakers was enthralling”
“Tony was absolutely fantastic and entertaining”
The Society of Certified Practicing Accountants
“Entertaining and focussed on the “theme”, genuine effort to tie our business interest area into his talk.”
“Excellent. Tony was very relaxed and easy to work with. His presentation was fun and light-hearted.”
“Tony’s Speech provided a most entertaining and inspiring beginning to what proved to be a marvellous event for young Australians to participate in the current debates on constitutional issues. “
Constitutional Centenary Foundation
Well judged in terms of tone, content and length, Tony enthralled everyone with his fine mix of acute wit, consisted advice, subtle motivation and relevant anecdote … The speech was clearly fashioned for the occasion and the audience of almost 800 people. I recommend Tony without reservation as an outstanding public speaker and look forward to the next occasion that he can return and speak at a school function.
Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School
“Presentation not only captured the theme of the evening, ‘It’s never too early in your career to network” – but was also entertaining, witty and informative … I look forward to being able to invite you back to Deacons in the future.
“Excellent. Tony was fantastic. His light hearted jokes throughout the awards presentation kept the audience laughing.”
“I received heaps of feedback about your performance.”
“As a result of your performance, the 370 guests in attendance enjoyed a wonderful evening of wit & satire. The feedback I’ve received from both legal and non-legal types has been fantastic. You are a natural stand-up comedian and did a great job as the adjudicator.”
Law Institute Victoria
“It was a great success and you were integral to that success, six hours is a heck of a long time to pad and inform. You really earned your tee shirt and make many RRR ‘conversations’ on the day.”
Russo & Russo
“He’s not the traditional “bell ringing” MC but rather a quick thinking, talented, light hearted, entertaining, and great impromptu performer under pressure. “
Institute of Body Corporate Managers
It is a pleasure to provide this reference for Tony Wilson who recently volunteered his excellent comic and MC skills for the Public Interest Law Clearing House (Vic) Inc. (‘PILCH’) 10th anniversary dinner charity auction. The dinner was a huge success. Tony contributed in a large part to this success. He poked fun at various people attending the dinner in a way that only a good comedian can. There was a lot of laughter during the auction and many people commented on how much they enjoyed his auction style. He did an excellent job in encouraging people to bid for items and compete against each other. PILCH is very grateful to Tony. His contribution is valued very much.
Public Interest Law Clearing House Vic Inc
"Tony Wilson was our Master of Ceremonies. His commentary was funny and witty. His preparation for the function was clearly demonstrated by the questions he asked our guest speakers and the response received from our audience. The IWIRC committee highly recommends Tony's skills as a Master of Ceremonies."
“Tony was really receptive to what we were trying to achieve with our event and he was a pleasure to work with. He was well organised, slotted into the MC role beautifully and was well received by our guests.”
“Excellent. Warm & inviting personality. Great presence. My guests are very talkative & Tony knew when to wait for their attention or tell them to be quiet, but in a professional manner. Intelligent humour which went over well with the guests. Worked the floor well during some of the. competitions. The script demanded much from Tony & he didn't let us down.”
Australian Property Institute