Australian TV supremo Brian Walsh dies suddenly: Legendary executive masterminded Neighbors’ success and launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman
Legendary television executive Brian Walsh, who in a decades-long career in radio, film and television was responsible for the worldwide success of the series Neighbors, has died.
Walsh was the main driver behind the launch of the careers of Australia’s biggest entertainment exports: the television series Neighbors, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
Walsh, who was most recently an executive at Foxtel, was described by the company as “an iconic figure throughout Foxtel’s 28-year history and one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian television.”
After working in radio at a young age, Brian joined Network Ten where he launched major network events including Kennedy Miller’s acclaimed miniseries ‘Vietnam’, ‘The Bangkok Hilton’ and ‘The Dirtwater Dynasty’.
Brian is also credited with responsibility for the international success of the iconic Australian family drama series ‘Neighbours’ and launching the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, High Jackman and Guy Pearce.
Kyle and Jackie O reacted live to the news of Walsh’s death with genuine shock and sadness.
Jackie O said: ‘I loved Brian. It is a real shock…. He was very passionate. It was Foxtel.
Kyle said: ‘Love to his family and friends and everyone at Foxtel. He was one of the good guys on TV.
That’s a shock to the system. When people you know die, it’s a shock to the system. We were close.
In a statement expressing the deep sadness of the Foxtel Group, CEO Patrick Delany said: “This is a very difficult day for the Foxtel Group family, Australia’s creative community and the millions of Australians who have seen 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 very felt.
‘At Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, confidante, colleague and unwavering friend to many. Today, we are mourning the death of Brian.
‘Our condolences go out to his family and those closest to him. We have lost an Australian television icon that will never be replaced. Rest in peace Brian.
Brian Walsh died in Sydney on Thursday.