Neighbours creator Reg Watson dies aged 93

BY BBC.COM - Oct 12, 2019 at 5:05pm 100

Pix Inserted

The creator of the popular Australian television show Neighbours, Reg Watson, has died aged 93.

The show announced his death on Friday evening.

Neighbours, set on the fictional Ramsay Street, is Australia's all-time longest running drama and is due to celebrate its 35th year in 2020.

Executive producer of the show, Jason Herbison, described Mr Watson as "a pioneer of drama" and "a lovely person to work with."

'Everyone at Neighbours is sad to hear of the passing of our creator, Reg Watson. He was a pioneer of drama, prolific in his output and by all accounts a lovely person to work with. His legacy lives on in Ramsay Street to this day.' - Jason Herbison - Neighbours EP— Neighbours (@neighbours) October 12, 2019

Mr Watson was born in Queensland but moved to the UK in 1955 and worked on television show Crossroads.

He was then headhunted in Australia to establish a new drama department for Grundy Television.

Mr Watson developed Neighbours in the 1980s, with television producer Reg Grundy.

It was originally screened on Channel 7 in Australia but was dropped after it underperformed. It was then picked up by the Ten Network who saw promise in the show.

Neighbours is also a popular show in the UK. It was first screened on the BBC before moving to Channel 5.

The show has launched many careers including Kylie Minogue, Margot Robbie, Holly Vallance and Jason Donovan.

Donovan, who played Scott Robinson in the soap drama, wrote on Twitter: "Many Australian careers have a lot to thank for this man. A legend....Mr Reg Watson."

Russell Crowe also appeared for several episodes as former prisoner Kenny Larkin, so too did Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth as Josh Taylor and singer Natalie Imbruglia as Beth Brennan.

In 2010, Mr Watson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the media.