As Home and Away starts a new year of production this week, there are a number of changes that have occured in the Seven drama department that may be of interest to fans.
Cameron Welsh, who has acted as Series Producer for the past 5 years, has announced that he has now stepped down from the role following the end of the production in 2011.
Cameron’ss 12 year association with the show first began when he appeared as the character Mitch McColl in 1999. Mitch left Summer Bay in Episode 3000, shown in 2001, but Cameron moved behind the scenes, eventually becoming a director and writer on the show.
At the end of 2006 he took over the role of Series Producer from Julie McGauran, who Cameron incidentally went on to marry a few months later. Though not commenting on future plans, it was announced in September that Cameron was in the process of developing a US drama.
Lucy Addario, who previously worked for several years as an Associate Producer on All Saints, has taken on the role of Home and Away‘ss Series Producer as it resumes production this week. As the show is filmed several months in advance, Lucy’ss first episodes at the helm will be airing around May 2012.
In other news further up the ranks, Seven Network’ss venerated Head of Drama John Holmes has decided to take on a new role within the company.
In a career spanning 30 years, John has overseen some of Australia’ss most beloved shows. He first worked for the Seven Network for 10 years from 1971, taking on various roles in the production departments including floor manager and in-house producer. John then moved onto the Grundy Organisation in 1982 where he produced Sons & Daughters before setting up and producing Neighbours.
Returning to Seven Network in 1987 to produce the pilot episode of Home and Away, John stayed on as Series Producer for the first year of the show’ss production before moving to the Nine Network, followed by the Ten Network, as an Executive Producer and Head of Drama respectively. He finally returned to Seven Network as Head of Drama in 1994 where he has remained ever since, taking on the title as Home and Away‘ss Executive Producer for the past 17 years.
John’ss new role at Seven will see him freed from the day-to-day management of the department and able to focus on the creative process with long-term collaborator Bevan Lee, who himself will continue his role as Seven’ss Head of Creative Drama/Network Script Executive. Together they have been the creative force behind such shows as Always Greener, All Saints, City Homicide, Packed to the Rafters and Winners & Losers amongst others.
Taking over John’ss role as Seven’ss Head of Drama is none other than Julie McGauran.
After leaving the role of Home and Away‘ss Series Producer in 2006 after 5 years, Julie moved to Southern Star Entertainment in order to develop new projects for Australian free-to-air and pay TV networks, as well as for international broadcasters. During this time she co-created such shows as Out of the Blue, Rescue: Special Ops and Wild Boys.
Speaking of the restructuring, John said “The last 17 years have been an absolute blast and I am looking forward to working alongside Julie and Bevan, two of the sharpest professionals in television today.”
Tim Worner, Seven’ss Director of Programming and Production, said ”You only need to look at John’s credits to understand his gift for storytelling. His instincts are supreme. And together with Bevan Lee he’s part of the best creative partnership in the business. Julie’s arrival ensures that Seven will continue to be the country’s most successful producer of Australian drama. She has acumen, energy and skill and her leadership will enable John and Bevan to concentrate on finding and telling Aussie stories.”