Simply the Best: Vale Brian Walsh, one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian TV
The Foxtel Group today expressed its profound sadness at the sudden loss of Brian Walsh, an iconic figure throughout Foxtel’s 28-year history and one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian television. Brian died in Sydney yesterday.
Brian began his career with ABC before going into feature film production and distribution at Palm Beach Pictures and promotions and publicity at Sydney Radio Station 2SM. After five years at Radio 2SM, Brian joined Network TEN, where he launched major network events, including the acclaimed Kennedy Miller mini-series “Vietnam”, “The Bangkok Hilton”, and “The Dirtwater Dynasty”. Brian’s also credited with responsibility for the global success of the iconic Australian family drama series, “Neighbours and launching the careers of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Guy Pearce.
Brian initially established his reputation as a gifted media, entertainment and sports publicist. His CV is a roll-call of iconic moments in television marketing and publicity including the creation of the Simply The Best season launch for the National Rugby League which featured Tina Turner. Brian was also the creative force behind a series of blockbuster Grand Final and State of Origin Entertainment shows and events while also being the much-loved publicist for the largest Australian international concert tours including by Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Ricky Martin and Barbra Streisand.
In 1995, Brian was a key member of the management team that established Australian subscription television with the launch of Foxtel. Brian’s talent and his unique ability to engage people saw him become Foxtel’s creative force over the past two decades including overseeing all scripted and unscripted commissions for the Foxtel Group. This includes some of Australia’s best quality, most loved television series including Wentworth, Upright, Deadline Gallipoli, The Kettering Incident, The End and most recently the award-winning and globally distributed series Love Me, Colin from Accounts and The Twelve.
Says Patrick Delany, CEO, Foxtel Group: “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.
“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.”
A statement from Brian Walsh’s family including his sisters Maureen Walsh, Jeanette Walsh and Bernadette Walsh as well as Bernadette’s husband Wayne Cooper and Brian’s nieces and nephew:
“We are deeply saddened and shocked at the loss of our beloved brother Brian. There are no words to say just how heartbroken we are.
“He had an extraordinary life and accomplished so much. His contributions were celebrated and widely acknowledged. We will always remember him by his love of family, his generosity and the value he put on a life not wasted but full and well lived.
“His greatest gift was bringing joy to people including through the industry he was so passionate about and all those he collaborated with over so many years. We were so proud of him and we know Mum and Dad would have been too.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for Brian. Details of how we will celebrate his life will follow but for now we remember our darling Brian and ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Didn’t know ya, wish I did. A prolific loss rivalled only by his prolific body of work. Vale Brian!