Vale Chris Chamberlin

Tributes are flowing for Chris Chamberlin, one of the media and entertainment industry’s most popular and respected publicists who died yesterday, 10 days before his 40th birthday.

A senior national publicist for the ABC since 2014, Chamberlin was on holidays in India. The cause of death has not been revealed.

“Chris was highly regarded and respected by everyone who was lucky enough to have known him,” Leisa Bacon, the ABC’s director of audiences, said in an email to staff.

“Chris has managed campaigns for projects across all TV genres – news, factual, entertainment and children’s programs. The list of credits is enormous and Chris knew everything there was to know about developing publicity opportunities for marketing campaigns. He built strong relationships with on-air talent, through to production teams and key media outlets.

“Chris was incredibly committed, working tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome on every single program and project he was involved with. In moments of crisis, Chris was a welcome voice on the other end of the phone who was only too willing to help.

“Personally I will miss his witty takes on pop culture and politics, which could always brighten your day.”

On social media director/producer Sophie Hyde said, “So gutted to hear about the sudden death of beautiful Chris Chamberlin. You held our hands and made us laugh through our Australian release a few years ago and in that short time we grew to love you.”

Producer Kath Shelper said: “So very, very sad to hear of the passing of a great person, dear Chris. He was there with us at the beginning of our journey on Samson & Delilah and remained a friend forever.”

Born in Bundaberg, he graduated from the Queensland University of Technology as a Bachelor of Arts, Film and TV Production in 1997.

From 2002 to 2006 he was senior national publicity and promotions manager for Dendy Films Distribution. For Dendy and later Transmission Films he worked on such titles as Candy, Boy, The Home Song Stories, Romulus, My Father, The Eye of the Storm and The Oyster Farmer.

Andrew Mackie, who co-founded Dendy Films and Transmission with Richard Payten, told IF,  "Chris adored cinema and gave back to it passionately. He created some of the most incredible film publicity campaigns we've ever seen. To lose Chris at such a young age is unbearable."

His ABC career began in 2006 as acting marketing manager for ABC News Radio in Sydney. In 2008 he launched his own culture and entertainment media relations firm, Pop Culture. 

After re-joining the ABC he worked mostly as a senior publicist across news and television. As Bacon said, “He was a star at his job as he really loved media.”

The ABC will advise staff about the memorial service once arrangements have been finalised.

  1. Chris was my publicity pal from 2003 and I always thought he was just great. This is heartbreaking news.

  2. Chris was Sharmill Films national publicist for many years and promoted the Met Opera and National theatre live from their inception as alternate content in cinemas in Australia Did so brilliantly.
    He will be so sadly missed by all who knew him. Condolences to his family
    From Natalie Miller

  3. Such a loss is hard to imagine. Chris was gentle, intelligent and a delight to work with. I knew him when he was just starting out as a publicist and valued him for his directness and sincerity. He was one of the rare ones who cared about what he was doing.

  4. Chris was always a pleasure to communicate with and work with on various projects over the years. One of the most pleasant, caring, focussed and wonderful people I have met in a long time. My love and thoughts and prayers are with all family and friends who hold Chris dear.

  5. Such sad news and what a loss to the entire film & TV community. Our thoughts are with his family at this devastating time. We’ll miss you Chris.

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