Alan Bateman, the creator of long-running drama series Home And Away, has died after a battle with cancer.

Bateman’s early television career was as a technician, working at Perth channels ABW2 and TVW7 in the early 1960s, before moving up the ranks to become a producer and executive at ABC and later the Seven and Nine networks.

As Seven’s head of drama Bateman created daytime soap The Power The Passion and commissioned long-running series All Saints, but his most successful production was Home And Away, created in 1987 as a rival to Network Ten‘s Neighbours (ironically, a series that Seven had previously dropped).  Home And Away is now in its 25th year of production and continues to maintain an international profile.

Bateman also produced mini-series Melba and Nancy Wake and at the Nine Network produced dramas Family And Friends, Ring Of Scorpio, Elly And Jools and The Flying Doctors.

After Nine he went on to an executive role at Network Ten and was later in charge of Seven’s coverage of The Games Of The XXVI Olympiad from Atlanta.

Seven Network Television CEO Tim Worner paid tribute:

“Alan was a true television craftsman who always stuck up for program makers, sometimes against all odds, and he often had a lot of fun doing it.  He will be remembered as the man who came up with the idea for Home And Away, a program that continues to resonate with viewers. He leaves that legacy and so much more to Australian television.”

Source: WA TV History, The Australian, IMDB. Super Aussie Soaps, Andrew Mercado

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