Brian Walsh Dead: Australian TV Pioneer Was 67

Brian Walsh died in Sydney yesterday Thursday.

Pay-TV group Foxtel, where he had co-founded, said Walsh’s death was sudden and that he had been one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian television.

Walsh began his career at the ABC and subsequently worked at Palm Beach Pictures, radio station 2SM and Network 10. Then in 1995 he was a key member of the management team which established Australian subscription television with the launch of Foxtel.

He has been remembered for his multi-faceted media career, including as a gifted media, entertainment and sports publicist, and his important role in many iconic Australian television moments.

He was credited with the “global success of Neighbours”, including launching the careers of its actors Kylie Minogue, Jason Donocan and Guy Pearce.

In addition, he created the “Simply the Best” season launch of the National Rugby League, which featured Tina Turner, and was the creative force behind a number of spectacular Grand Final and State of Origin entertainment shows and events.

Over the past two decades he has overseen scripted and non-scripted for the Foxtel Group, including the likes of “Wentworth”, “Upright”, “Love Me”, “Colin from Accounts” and “The Twelve”.

Patrick Delany, current CEO of Foxtel Group, said: “This is a very difficult day for the Foxtel Group family, for Australia’s creative community and the millions of Australians who watched and loved the stories that Brian brought to life through television. Australia’s creative community has lost a much-loved figure in Brian.For us, the loss is deeply felt.

“At the Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, a confidant, a colleague and a steadfast friend to so many. Today we mourn Brian’s passing. Our condolences go out to his family and those closest to him. We have lost an icon of Australian television , which will never be replaced. Rest in peace, Brian.”

Earlier this week, it was announced that Walsh was to take to the stage at the Screen Forever conference to interview Ralph Lee, CEO of Studios Productions, who has overall responsibility for BBC Studios Productions globally.

This report originally appeared in Variety Australia.

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