Reg Watson, Creator of Crossroads and Neighbours Has Died

Angela Channing

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Reg Watson who helped to create Crossroads and later went on to create Neighbours has died age 93.

Mr Watson was born in Queensland but moved to the UK in 1955 and helped create television show Crossroads.

He was then headhunted in Australia to establish a new drama department for Grundy Television.

Aside from Neighbours, he also helped create Prisoner: Cell Block H, The Young Doctors and Sons and Daughters.

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.

Neighbours creator Reg Watson dies aged 93

From the end credits of Crossroads:
 
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Jock Og

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I'm sorry to hear of Reg's death. My cap is off to him for his hand in creating Crossroads and 'the good days' i.e. Neighbours.
 

James from London

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According to Wikipedia, he died three years ago. According to the BBC's website and Twitter, it just happened. This all feels very Crossroads.
 

Mel O'Drama

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According to Wikipedia, he died three years ago. According to the BBC's website and Twitter, it just happened. This all feels very Crossroads.
I think there's been confusion with Neighbours' other Reg: Reg Grundy who died in 2016. I could swear earlier reports named him as Reg Grundy. In fact I just commented on it in the S&D thread (although that link now reports it as Watson).

All Googly signs point to Mr W. not having died previously.
 

James from London

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I think there's been confusion with Neighbours' other Reg: Reg Grundy who died in 2016. I could swear earlier reports named him as Reg Grundy. In fact I just commented on it in the S&D thread (although that link now reports it as Watson).

All Googly signs point to Mr W. not having died previously.
Aha!
 

Englishboy

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There is an error in the article in that Crossroads was actually devised by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling.

Reg was the original producer on it, albeit that he was generally regarded as the driving force behind it during its early years.

As a tv producer Reg really was the "king of soaps" in Australia with so many successful soaps to his name, principally The Young Doctors, Prisoner and Neighbours.

Sad to hear the news of his passing but he lived a full life.
 

Mel O'Drama

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so many successful soaps to his name, principally The Young Doctors, Prisoner and Neighbours.
Don't forget the other big one. Or you'll get some frosty looks...

 

Angela Channing

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There is an error in the article in that Crossroads was actually devised by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling.

Reg was the original producer on it, albeit that he was generally regarded as the driving force behind it during its early years.

As a tv producer Reg really was the "king of soaps" in Australia with so many successful soaps to his name, principally The Young Doctors, Prisoner and Neighbours.

Sad to hear the news of his passing but he lived a full life.
I think Reg Watson had the original idea for Crossroads and pitched it to ATV who passed the project to Hazel Adair and Peter Ling to develop it into the show which finally came to air. So maybe a more accurate description would be created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling based on an original idea by Reg Watson.
 

Barbara Fan

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RIP Reg Watson, Crossroads was such a popular soap back in the day!

not a bad career all in!
 

James from London

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I think Reg Watson had the original idea for Crossroads and pitched it to ATV who passed the project to Hazel Adair and Peter Ling to develop it into the show which finally came to air. So maybe a more accurate description would be created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling based on an original idea by Reg Watson.
Yes, according to this article, Watson pitched the idea of doing an American style soap to Lew Grade, and then Adair & Ling came up with the concept for the actual series. I never realised the focus was originally split between Meg's motel and her sister Kitty's shop, but then "after Beryl Johnstone, who played Kitty, died suddenly in 1969, the action switched exclusively to the motel." Reg also came up with the idea of Sandy's paralysis, so points for that too.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/oct/13/reg-watson-obituary
 
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Alexis

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I wonder where would have been the better place to stay. Crossroads Motel or La Mirage?
 

James from London

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An entire Crossroads chalet is probably about the size of a La Mirage en suite, but the service has that little extra something.

 

Alexis

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An entire Crossroads chalet is probably about the size of a La Mirage en suite, but the service has that little extra something.

Probably more a view from your Chalet too. Or at least a window.
 

Angela Channing

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An entire Crossroads chalet is probably about the size of a La Mirage en suite, but the service has that little extra something.

Especially when Shughie was sabotaging everything that came out of the kitchen due to being depressed about not being with his mother when she died.
 

James from London

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Cleo Sylvestre posted this on Twitter yesterday:

Reg invited me to play Meg’s adopted daughter, Melanie #Crossroads soon after Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. A bold choice. A true gentleman and innovator who created a great atmosphere in the studio and will be greatly missed.

 

Angela Channing

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Cleo Sylvestre posted this on Twitter yesterday:

Reg invited me to play Meg’s adopted daughter, Melanie #Crossroads soon after Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. A bold choice. A true gentleman and innovator who created a great atmosphere in the studio and will be greatly missed.

This is a Crossroads storyline I had no idea existed. I'm going to have to research it further. Crossroads in many ways was a truly groundbreaking show.
 

James from London

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This is a Crossroads storyline I had no idea existed. I'm going to have to research it further. Crossroads in many ways was a truly groundbreaking show.
I don't think any recordings and hardly any photos exist of that story.

I got to work with Cleo a few years ago. She's really nice and has had a really fascinating life and career. She was recently given an award acknowledging her as a "trailblazer" for black actors in the UK.

 
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