'Neighbours' creator and "father of Australian TV" Reg Grundy dies

The television producer helped create the long-running soap, as well as 'Shortland Street', 'Prisoner: Cell Block H' and 'The Young Doctors'

Reg Grundy, Joy Chambers, Neighbours, Prisoner Cell Block H, Shortland Street

Reg Grundy also brokered the deal to bring many American game shows to Australian TV [Murdoch Books]

Reg Grundy, the producer affectionately known as “the father of Australian TV” and the creator of the long-running soap opera Neighbours, has died. He was 92.

Grundy’s production company is credited with creating some of the most widely exported Australian TV shows, including The Young Doctors and Prisoner: Cell Block H. Together with Reg Watson, he created the daily soap opera Neighbours, set in the fictional Victoria suburb of Erinsborough, in the 1980s, catapulting Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan to stardom.

The head of FreemantleMedia Australia, to whom Grundy sold his production company in the 1990s, described the late producer as a “national treasure,” saying his “legacy to Australian entertainment is insurmountable.”

“His visionary ability to know how to connect Australian families through some of this country’s most loved programming has stood the test of time,” Ian Hogg said.

“Reg is an icon and he will be sorely missed.”

Grundy passed away at his Bermuda home, where he had lived with his wife Joy Chambers since 1982. The pair met when Chambers auditioned for one of Grundy’s game shows and were married for more than 45 years.

As the best known of all his TV shows, Neighbours celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. The daytime soap opera is credited with helping launch the careers of Minogue and Donovan, as well as Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Liam Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, and Natalie Imbruglia.

In honour of the show’s 30th anniversary, Newstalk.com ran the following article last year.

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