Home and Away creator Alan Bateman has died, after losing his battle with cancer.

The TV executive, who also produced The Flying Doctors, passed away on August 18, reported The Australian.

Seven Network CEO Tim Worner said in a statement: “In an industry built on legends, Alan Bateman was a trailblazer. Home And Away, conceived, developed and executive produced by Alan during its critical early seasons, will ensure his history and that of the iconic series are for ever linked.”

He added: “When Alan was in charge of a production, everyone had fun. That spirit lives on inside Home and Away today.”

Alan’s idea for the long-running Australian soap was inspired by a trip to Kangaroo Point, New South Wales in 1986. As he stopped for ice cream, he heard that locals were in uproar about the construction of a new foster home for kids from the city.

“I saw then the outline for a serial. I wanted to do something that really reflected the hopes, fears, challenges and ambience of young people in the 1980s,” he said in 1989.

Originally titled Refuge, there were a number of teething problems before the renamed Home and Away premiered in January 1988, but Alan kept the show on air despite the tough initial period when network executives wanted to kill the soap.