Former Seven Director of Production Brad Lyons has died, following a battle with cancer.
Lyons joined Seven in 1997 as Head of Infotainment following previous roles as Head of Program Development, Head of Programming & Communications (Melbourne) and Head of Production, and Director of Network Production.
He was part of Seven’s ‘dream team’ of execs, including Tim Worner and Angus Ross, which enjoyed a decade of ratings dominance.
Lyons oversaw some of the network’s biggest local productions including My Kitchen Rules, Dancing with the Stars, House Rules, The Amazing Race Australia, Beauty & the Geek, Gladiators, Little Big Shots, The Chase, First Dates and more, before departing in 2017.
James Warburton, Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer said: “On behalf of all of us at SWM, we were devastated to learn of Brad’s passing. Brad was an instrumental creative force at Seven for two decades. He saw the launch of over 25 titles in his time, including iconic shows such as Dancing with the Stars, My Kitchen Rules, Deal or No Deal, House Rules and The Chase Australia.
“We will all miss his energy and passion, which we were so lucky to experience. Brad was a second-to-none creative mind, and we were so fortunate to have a had chance to work with him and get to know him for the truly incredible person he was.
“Our thoughts are with Brad’s wife, Debbie, his three daughters, and all of his family and friends at this time.”
Angus Ross, Director of Programming told TV Tonight, ““Brad was one of those larger than life television executives. Super competitive, passionate, brutally honest and with an incredible gut feel for television. His ability to tell stories on screen was only eclipsed by his ability to tell great stories to friends and colleagues with a pinot noir in his hand. Through all the ups and downs we experienced he never lost his wicked sense of humour – which was always helpful to get through the rough stuff. The legacy of his outstanding work lives on in the original Australian formats that continue to screen on Seven and other networks around the world.”
Back in 2013 Lyons was pivotal when Seven prevailed in its court stoush with Mel B over preventing her from joining Nine’s Australia Got Talent season. The magistrate found him to be a plausible witness after several courtroom appearances.
I’d like to add that I will remember Brad as being passionate about the biz, both in interviews where he was proud about Seven content, or when he dished out a bit of firepower to journos. He once publicly shamed me at a House Rules launch before all the guests, because I had questioned Celebrity Splash ratings. We traded barbs at the time, but I look back on it now as the rough and tumble of TV life…
Colleagues who worked with him at Seven have also paid tribute on social media:
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The world feels different today. With the heaviest of hearts, the news that our dear mate and soul brother Brad Lyons passed away last night. Bradley lit the sky, took no prisoners and leaves an aching, empty space in our lives. We loved you Beezo, warts and all. Thanks for your hilarity, your candour and your blazing, life embracing personality. There was no one like you and no one who loved television more. At the Logies a hundred years ago with the legendary Isaac Hayes, whom Bradley had in stitches of course. Rest in Peace Brad. With all our love and strength to Deb, Lily, Sammy, Zozo, Pam, Bruce and Kim. Simon, Linda, Stella and Sam xoxo