Press release from AFI
The Australian Film Institute today announced television industry veteran Dr Reg Grundy OBE AC as the recipient of the AFI Raymond Longford Award.
The AFI will present Reg Grundy with the Australian screen industry’s highest accolade at the 2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Awards on Saturday 11th December.
First presented in 1968, the AFI Raymond Longford Award (an award which honours the masterful Australian film pioneer Raymond Longford) is the highest honour that the Australian Film Institute bestows on an individual and recognises a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s screen environment and culture.
This year’s recipient Reg Grundy is one of the most successful and innovative Australian media and television entrepreneurs of his generation.
He was the producer of many much-loved game shows such as Wheel of Fortune, Sale of the Century and Perfect Match.
His slate of television dramas are among the most fondly remembered, including The Restless Years, The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, and the most successful and enduring of all, Neighbours.
He joins a prestigious group of past recipients, including Geoffrey Rush, Fred Schepisi, Ken G. Hall, Tim Burstall, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Jack Thompson, David Stratton, Ted Robinson, and many more.
AFI CEO Damian Trewhella said: “Reg Grundy’s significant contributions to Australian television defines him as a true pioneer of the medium. He was responsible for bringing Australian ideas and stories to a global audience through his 160 different television series worldwide – and I’m sure we won’t have a full understanding of the immense cultural impact of this for some time.
"We’re absolutely thrilled that Reg and Joy will be joining us on Saturday to celebrate his outstanding achievement and lifelong commitment to screen entertainment.”
In acknowledgement of this award, Reg Grundy states: “I am indeed honoured to receive the Raymond Longford Award from the Australian Film Industry. Television production has been my chosen field and my passion for the major part of my life and I have been fortunate enough to have had success in all forms of it, in my own country and overseas.
"Over the years I took Australians out into the world: actors, producers, performers, directors, technicians and writers and together we proved that Australians were up there with the best there is. This has been one of my great joys and they are all people with whom I am proud to have been associated.
"So while I remain a private man who is happy simply with my wife, Joy, at my side, this honour is one that I regard as very special. I have lived a long time, long enough to know that peer-group honours are given from the heart and I accept the AFI Raymond Longford Award in the same fashion.”
Reg Grundy was born in 1923 and started his media career as a boxing and general sports commentator for radio station 2SM Sydney in 1947.
While at 2CH Sydney in 1957, he devised and hosted the Wheel of Fortune game show on radio, moving with that show to television, starting on Channel 9 in 1959.
After forming his own production company he began producing game shows for the Australian and overseas market, before eventually branching out into drama in 1973.
A great number of Reg’s programs sold internationally and his company, Grundy Worldwide, expanded to where he was making local TV programming in 20 countries.
He was awarded the Founders Award at the 24th International Emmy Awards in 1996.
The International Emmy Founders Award recognises an individual who has made an impact on the television industry and crosses cultural boundaries.
Other recipients include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Jim Henson and Sir David Attenborough.
Reg is married to the actress and author, Joy Chambers, who has appeared in several of his continuing dramas.
Reg Grundy will be on hand to accept the AFI Raymond Longford Award at the 2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Awards this Saturday 11th December at the Regent Theatre, Melbourne.
Hosted by Shane Jacobson, the gala red carpet event will be broadcast nationally on Nine Network at 9.30pm that same night.
The show is produced by Dainty Consolidated Entertainment.
A full list of nominees and more information is available online at www.afi.org.au.