Vale: Michael Shephard
TV industry publicist Michael Shephard, who worked for TV1 / SF, Seven, Foxtel and Beyond, passed away last weekend.
He began as an Assistant Promotions Manager at Polygram Records in 1982, working with such acts as Elton John, Dire Straits, Jon English and Marc Hunter before roles with Mattingly Advertising, Beyond Productions, Seven and Foxtel.
For 11 years he was the Publicity Director at TV1 and Sci-Fi overseeing local productions including The King and managing the delayed screening for Killing Time due to a legal fracas.
After the demise of TV1 / SF he freelanced including working on Moody’s Christmas, Tractor Monkeys, Shock Horror Aunty for ABC, Big Brother 2013 for Nine and FremantleMedia’s Schapelle telemovie.
I first knew Michael from his days at TV1, but liaised with him on many projects including set visits together on Big Brother and Schapelle on the Gold Coast. He also handled all of the media relations following the death of his close friend Adriana Xenides.
We had several long chats on the phone about TV goss and network shenanigans. I remember he was a big fan of Dexter, apologising once for being late with BB info because “I was in Dexter land and had probably fallen asleep by time this note came through.” He was also devoted to his cats.
Michael was also of the ‘old school’ style of Publicity, where talking to people sometimes got better outcomes than constant emails, but he always looked after the talent and the needs of the journalists he worked with.
Beyond Productions is hosting an online photo album and asking industry to contribute memories of Michael here.
A memorial will be held at 2:30pm next Thursday at Balmain Sailing Club celebrating his life with music and stories. In lieu of flowers a donation is requested to one of Michael’s favourite charities, Cat Protection Society, RSPCA or Beyond Blue.