09/05/2016 5:29 AM AEST | Updated 09/05/2016 10:14 AM AEST

Television Game Show Pioneer Reg Grundy Dies Aged 92

TV executive Reg Grundy  has died at his home in Bermuda
Patrick Riviere via Getty Images
TV executive Reg Grundy has died at his home in Bermuda

He was the man who revolutionised Australian television and helped to bring iconic shows like Wheel of Fortune, Sale of the Century and Neighbours to local screens.

Reg Grundy, the legendary and reclusive TV producer, has died in his home in Bermuda, aged 92.

The pioneering Aussie executive has been remembered as a genius in the field who had a knack for picking winning ideas and gave many famous faces a start in the business.


He passed away in the "arms of his beloved wife Joy" on their Bermuda estate, broadcaster Alan Jones said on 2GB radio on Monday.

The famous TV boss, who spent much of his later life based on the Caribbean island, began his career in television in the 1950s developing radio game show Wheel of Fortune which was subsequently adapted for the small screen.

In the 1960s he founded the Grundy Organisation which specialised in what proved to be hugely popular game show formats like Sale of the Century, Blankety Blanks and Perfect Match.

He was also instrumental in developing numerous TV soaps and dramas, including Prisoner and Neighbours.

The Grundy name and distinctive rotating logo became so well known that the term even entered Australian slang, with Aussies referring to their underwear as "Grundies".

In 1995, he sold the Grundy Organisation to what is now FremantleMedia for $320 million.

He was a very private figure who rarely sought the spotlight and did not often give interviews.

The museum of television praised Grundy for his ability to "quickly recognise the value of particular program formats so far as programming and audience appeal were concerned".

Former Wheel of Fortune host John Burgess said Grundy had a "huge influence" on Australian television.

"He was a man of many facets and all-round good bloke, easy to talk to and loved a chat," Burgess told the ABC.

"He had the happy knack of being able to pick things out from a huge array of shows ... that were doing OK and turned them into super hits -- Sale of the Century was his own idea.

"He was just an all-round good fellow. I owe him a lot. It is a very sad day today."