Writer, Producer and TV Executive Alan Bateman, best known as the creator of Home and Away, has died.
The Australian reports Bateman passed away on Saturday following a battle with cancer.
He worked at TEN, Nine, ABC and Seven, including serving as Head of Drama at Seven and Nine.
Bateman was was appointed Technical Director of the 1962 Commonwealth and Empire Games in Perth before joining the ABC.
Producing credits included Home and Away, The Flying Doctors, The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy, Elly and Jools, Family and Friends, Ring of Scorpio, The Fremantle Conspiracy, Nancy Wake, Melba, Peach’s Australia, and Into the Wild.
He created the ambitious daytime soap for Seven The Power, The Passion in 1988.
But the idea for Home and Away came when he stopped to buy ice-creams in a small country town in Southern NSW and locals told him they were unhappy about a home for foster kids being built in their town.
Seven CEO Tim Worner told TV Tonight, “In an industry built on legends, Alan Bateman was a trail blazer. Home and Away, conceived, developed and executive produced by Alan during its critical early seasons will ensure his history and that of the iconic series are forever linked. When Alan was in charge of a production, everyone had fun. That spirit lives on inside Home and Away today.”
Seven West Media Chairman Kerry Stokes told The Australian, ““During his time he was responsible for commissioning All Saints and oversaw the production of the Atlanta Olympics. He was dedicated to Australian content and championing programs that reflected the Australian identity. He made a real contribution to the Seven Network and Australian television.”
Bevan Lee told fansite Back to the Bay: He was a force of nature in the business, although he left it many years ago to pursue other career options. One huge way he contributed to Home and Away is less well known than the fact that it was his original idea. Six weeks in to its time on air, the Network programmers decided to cancel it due to low ratings. Alan got in there and fought like a terrier to get a four week stay of execution. In those weeks the ratings took an upward path and the rest is history. Without Alan Bateman, on so many levels, we would not be celebrating this 25th anniversary. Rest in Peace Alan. Your creation lives after you to remind us you were here.”