Brian Walsh, the legendary TV executive credited with a key role in Neighbours’ success and the launch of the careers of Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman, has died at the age of 67.


Australian network Foxtel, where Walsh most recently worked, confirmed he passed away yesterday (Thursday 16th March) in Sydney.

Foxtel Group CEO Patrick Delany described Walsh as "an iconic figure throughout Foxtel's 28-year history and one of the most admired creative leaders in Australian television".

"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 brought to life through television," the statement continued.

"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. Our condolences go to his family and to those closest to him. Rest in peace Brian."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan pictured together on the set of neighbours when they played the Aussie soap’s resident sweethearts.Melbourne.January 01 1990 in Melbourne, Australia
Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan on the set of Neighbours. Getty Images/ Impressions

Walsh started his career at the ABC before working at Sydney radio station 2SM.

He then went on to work for Network 10 where he launched major network events, including the Kennedy Miller mini-series Vietnam, The Bangkok Hilton and The Dirtwater Dynasty.

Walsh is also credited for launching one of Australia’s most popular soaps, Neighbours, which kick-started the careers of Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman.

Actor Pearce, who starred as Mike Young for three years in Neighbours in the late 1980s, took to Twitter following the tragic news of Walsh’s passing to express his sadness.

"I’m in shock & utterly devastated at the news of losing my long time friend & mentor Brian Walsh," he wrote. "Your compassion & support will never be forgotten mate, nor will ur (sic) guidance as we journeyed down Ramsay St & beyond.

"Love you Walshie. May you travel peacefully sweet friend. RIP xx."

At Foxtel, Walsh oversaw all original productions, which included popular series such as Wentworth, The Kettering Incident, The End, and Deadline Gallipoli.

Over the course of his career, he was also the publicist for some of the most famous concerts that toured Down Under, including Michael Jackson, Neil Diamond, Mariah Carey.

Australian showbiz reporter Peter Ford said the tragic news had “knocked a lot of us for six” while appearing on The Morning Show on Seven Network and described Walsh as a “titan of the industry”.

"He was the man who really got the mania going for Kylie and Jason [Donovan]," he added.

Actress Deborra-Lee Furness said she and husband Hugh Jackman were “devastated” to hear of Walsh’s death.


“For over 30, years, we have shared our lives professionally and personally,” she added.