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Neighbours creator Reg Watson dies aged 93


Neighbours charactersImage copyright Neighbours/Facebook
Image caption Reg Watson created the popular Australian television show in the 1980s

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.”

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.”

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Media captionAnne Charleston (Madge Bishop) returns for Neighbours’ 30th birthday

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.

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