Mike Walsh (TV host)

Michael Hayden Walsh AM, OBE (born 5 March 1938 in Corowa, New South Wales),[1] is a former Australian radio and television presenter, currently focussed on owning and operating live theatres. His current career includes theatre production in London and Australia.

Mike Walsh

Michael Hayden Walsh

(1938-03-05) 5 March 1938
Alma materMelbourne University
  • Television presenter
  • radio presenter
  • actor
  • media personality
  • theatre owner
Years active1960−2013

Early life

Walsh completed his education at Xavier College in Melbourne, before studying Pharmacy and Arts at Melbourne University where he was heavily involved in student theatre revues.

Television and radio career

Prior to starring on television Walsh was a disc jockey, a "Good Guy" on Sydney commercial radio station 2SM.[2]

He was the host of The Mike Walsh Show from 1973 until 1985. The enormously popular program won 24 Logies and Walsh the Gold Logie. The program is also renowned for introducing fellow Gold Logie winning personality Jeanne Little in 1974.[3] When the show was cancelled by the Nine Network in 1986 Walsh sued and received a payout of $7.5 million in 1987.[4] He returned to television for a 12-week stint chat and music show on the ABC in 1987.[1]

He has the distinction of being the entertainer to win a Gold Logie and Sammy award in the same year. He has 24 Logies, seven Sammys in total.[1]


He was the Executive Producer of two highly successful musical Nunsense and Anything Goes in Australia.[5]

From 2006 Walsh has spent time in Sydney and London producing theatre shows across Australia and on London's West End.[6] This included:

In 1977 he purchased Richmond's Regent Theatre, in 1982 built a twin cinema complex in Penrith then purchased two other cinemas and the Avalon.[11] He has been the owner of Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne since 2000, and funded and oversaw its restoration. Walsh also owns the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, (purchased 1986) a 1935 art deco six-cinema complex in Cremorne, Sydney which he restored at a cost of $2.5 million,[6] and which features a 1925 Wurlitzer orchestral pipe organ.[12]

From 1996 he has financed the Mike Walsh Fellowships for young performers to hone their skills overseas and in Australia. From 2006 onwards he has provided a $50,000 (originally $30,000) each year for the fellowships.[6] By 2015 this has added up to over $700,000 to more than 90 Fellows.[13]


Walsh was honoured in 1980 with an award of the Order of the British Empire and, in 2016, was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the entertainment industry, and to the performing arts through support for young actors, theatre restoration and production.[14]


  1. "The ABC of Mike Walsh 21 August 1987". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  2. "A man for his time 5 October 1998". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  3. "Jeanne Little's Double Bay apartment sold 17 November 2015". Property Observer. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  4. "It's Alan v Kerry ... over Mike Walsh 17 February 1990". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  5. "AusStage". AusStage. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  6. "Mike Walsh, the forgotten star of daytime television, appointed an AM in Australia Day honours 28 January 2016". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. "Exit the King Production team". Playbill. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  8. "Holding the Man". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  9. "Photo Flash: THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG At Gielgud Theatre 3 February 2011". Broadway World. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  10. "Full cast announced for A Chorus Line at London Palladium 4 January 2014". London Theatre. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
  11. "Mike Walsh buys up the Box Office 3 January 1987". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  12. "Orpheum Theatre". www.sydneyorgan.com. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  13. "Mike Walsh Fellowship Recipients Announced 7 December 2015". Broadway World. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  14. "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (M-Z)" (PDF). Australia Day 2016 Honours Lists. Office of the Governor-General of Australia. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
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