Reg Grundy, man behind TV soap ‘Neighbours’, dies at 92

Production company made some of Australia’s best-known TV programmes

Australian entrepreneur Reginald “Reg” Grundy, who has died at his estate in Bermuda. He is best known for helping to bring the long-running drama Neighbours to screens across the globe. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/EPA

Australian entrepreneur Reginald “Reg” Grundy, who has died at his estate in Bermuda. He is best known for helping to bring the long-running drama Neighbours to screens across the globe. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/EPA

 

Australian television mogul Reginald “Reg” Grundy – who helped create the wildly popular Aussie soap opera Neighbours – has died, friends and colleagues said.

Mr Grundy died at his estate in Bermuda, long-time friend and broadcaster Alan Jones said on Sydney’s 2GB radio.

Mr Grundy’s death was also confirmed in a statement by the production company he founded, FremantleMedia Australia, formerly known as the Reg Grundy Organisation.

The 92-year-old’s cause of death was not released.

“Reg Grundy is a national treasure. His legacy to Australian entertainment is insurmountable,” Ian Hogg, chief executive of FremantleMedia Australia and Asia/Pacific, said in a statement.

“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.”

Mr Grundy began his career in radio before moving on to television, where his production company created some of Australia’s most beloved TV programmes, including Sons and Daughters, Prisoner Cell Block H and a slew of game shows.

But Mr Grundy was best known for helping to bring the long-running drama Neighbours to screens across the globe.

The show, which began airing in 1985 and launched the careers of several celebrities, including pop star Kylie Minogue, remains popular in many countries, particularly Britain.

Mr Grundy’s influence on Australian culture went beyond TV screens.

His name eventually became synonymous with underwear, thanks to the Australian custom of rhyming slang: “Grundies” is the colloquial term for underwear.

Mr Grundy was known as both friendly and private, rarely giving interviews. He and his wife of 45 years, actress and author Joy Chambers, had lived in Bermuda for decades.

Aside from Ms Chambers, he is also survived by Kim Grundy, his daughter from his first marriage to Lola Powell.

PA