Mike’s first foray as a radio announcer was with Radio 3SR in Shepparton, Victoria. He then went to 3XY in Melbourne, to become the station’s first disc jockey.
In 1962 he was invited by Sydney’s 2SM to help form the legendary “Good Guys”, and his 7.00 – 10.00 p.m. time slot gained the highest ratings on night-time Australian radio since the halcyon days of the late Jack Davey. While at 2SM he won his first television job, compering “10 On The Town”, a national variety programme for the 0/10 Network, which was followed by a satirical variety show, “66 And All That”. Mike maintained his radio programme on 2SM, introducing talk-back radio to Australia, an innovation that tripled the station’s ratings within three months.
He then was invited to Melbourne by Nine to compere an edition of the legendary In Melbourne Tonight, after which he established The Today Show for Nine, and hosted the program for 12 months. Mike then went to Seven Melbourne, where he compered a once a week ‘tonight show’ called The Mike Walsh Show over 3 years. When this finished he worked in England as a freelance broadcaster for the BBC, BBC overseas, and ABC radio, as well as acting, and some lucrative TV commercials! He was then headhunted to return to Australia by Columbia Pictures Screen Gems to host what became the long running daytime program, The Mike Walsh Show.
In 1980, The Mike Walsh Show was awarded the prestigious Television Society’s award for Best Light Entertainment Series, and Mike received their award for Best Current Affairs Interviewer. In the same year he received an O.B.E. for his services to the performing arts and his television show was again singled out for recognition, this time by the United Nations, when it was awarded the ‘Media Peace Prize’ for a special series of programs which looked at the problems immigrants faced as settlers in Australia.
In August, 1987, Mike returned to television to host a twelve week season of one hour talk shows, produced by Hayden Productions in association with ABC Television. In 1989 he did a limited season with Network 10 Australia hosting Superquiz.
In July 1998, Mike made a one-off return to television for the 7 Network, to produce and host The Mike Walsh Show Years, a hugely successful retrospective of the show’s unprecedented domination of its market.
In April 1999, Mike’s contribution to Australian television was recognised with his induction into the TV Week Logies Hall of Fame.
A household name across Australia for over 25 years, Mike Walsh is the only entertainer to receive the gold ‘Sammy’ and gold ‘Logie’ awards in one year. During his highly successful and enduring The Mike Walsh Show, which ran from 1973 to 1985 and was watched by more than five million viewers on 130 stations nationally, on both the Ten and Nine Networks, his team notched up a total of 24 Logies and seven Sammys.
Born in Corowa, NSW, Mike spent his secondary school years at Xavier College in Melbourne, graduating to study Pharmacy and Arts at Melbourne University. Here his interest in showbusiness was kindled when he became heavily involved in university reviews, with Germaine Greer and other contemporaries.
In January 1990, Mike was appointed by the NSW Government a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sydney Opera House and served as a Trustee for six years, the maximum term.
1996 saw the establishment of The Mike Walsh Fellowship, which is awarded each year to NIDA graduates, enabling them to travel abroad for twelve months to obtain a wider knowledge of theatre, film and/or television, and return to Australia to take up their careers with new knowledge.
With interests in Australia and the UK, Mike now divides his time between Sydney, Melbourne and London.
To visit Mike Walsh’s personal website, go to www.mikewalsh.com.au