Brian Walsh died in Sydney yesterday Thursday.
Pay-TV group Foxtel, where he had been a co-founder, said Walsh’ 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’s 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 lanch of the National Rugby League, which featured Tina Turner, and was the creative force behind a series of blockbuster Grand Final and State of Origin entertainment shows and events.
Over the past two decades, he’s been overseeing scripted and unscripted commissions for the Foxtel Group, including the likes of “Wentworth”, “Upright”, “Love Me”, “Colin from Accounts” and “The Twelve”.
Patrick Delany, current CEO of the 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 bought to life through television. Australia’s creative community has lost a much-loved figure in Brian. For us, the loss is heavily felt.
It is with heavy hearts that AACTA acknowledge the passing of one of Australia’s most distinguished television producers, Brian Walsh.
Brian was a dearly loved member of our AFI/AACTA family for over twenty five years and an AACTA Board member since 2016.
Vale Brian pic.twitter.com/SX1UGgtEQz
— AACTA (@AACTA) March 17, 2023
“At the Foxtel Group, Brian was a long-time mentor, a confidant, a colleague and an unwavering friend to so many. Today, we are grieving Brian’s passing. Our condolences go to his family and to those closest to him. We have lost an icon of Australian television that will never be replaced. Rest in peace, Brian.”
Earlier this week, it was announced Walsh was set to take to the stage at the Screen Forever conference to interview Ralph Lee, CEO of Studios Productions, which has overall responsibility for BBC Studios Productions globally.
– This report originally appeared in Variety Australia.