“Neighbours” creator Reg Watson has died. The creator of the popular Australian soap opera was aged 93.
The hit show announced Watson’s passing on Friday. Neighbours is Australia’s longest-running drama of all time with its 35th year anniversary set in 2020. The show found widespread popularity in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand.
On the show’s official Twitter account, Watson’s death was announced with a status that read:
“’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”
'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 pic.twitter.com/BbfkFwKN6Q
— Neighbours (@neighbours) October 12, 2019
Neighbours is credited for launching the careers of notable Aussie actors in Hollywood. Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, and Liam Hemsworth all had their acting roots in the show. Donovan paid tribute to the screenwriter in a Tweet where he wrote:
“Many Australian careers have a lot to thank for this man. A legend….Mr Reg Watson.”
Watson was born in Queensland, Australia before he eventually moved to the United Kingdom back in 1995. He is known for co-creating what is considered “the first soap-opera” on television, “Crossroads”.
The success of the show led Grundy Television to seek his talents in order to create a new drama department for the TV production in Australia. Watson then created Neighbours in the 1980s along with TV producer Reg Grundy. The show was first screened in the United Kingdom via the BBC before it was moved to Channel 5.
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.