Guy O’Sullivan, a British-born reality TV producer who brought a slew of international formats to Canada, died over the weekend in Toronto. He was 49.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of Guy O’Sullivan, president, Proper Television,” O’Sullivan’s production shingle Proper TV said Monday in a Facebook posting, without specifying a cause of death.
O’Sullivan, who emigrated from his native Britain to Canada in the late 1990s, was no stranger to global formats. The former BBC and Mentorn producer created and directed the original Britain’s Worst Driver series for Five, before it became a global format.
After launching Proper Television in Toronto in 2004, O’Sullivan produced a local Canada’s Worst Driver version for Discovery Channel. He then built his reputation by adapting more international formats for the Canadian market, initially via a distribution deal with ITV Global Entertainment.
O’Sullivan’s recent credits include MasterChef Canada for CTV, and he had just started working on bringing the hit format The Great British Bake Off to Canada with a new one-hour series, The Great Canadian Baking Show for the CBC, in partnership with format owner Love Productions.
Proper TV also developed and produced original formats for the global market, including Last Car Standing, Redemption Inc. and Four Weddings Canada, which TLC aired stateside as Four Weddings.
Canadian broadcaster Bell Media on Monday saluted O’Sullivan as the executive producer of a slew of original Canadian series for its CTV and Discovery channels. “Guy was an incredibly bright, charming, generous, and well-loved friend to all who knew and worked with him,” Bell Media president Randy Lennox said in a statement.
O’Sullivan’s Discovery credits included Blood, Sweat & Tools; Canada’s Worst Handyman; Don’t Drive Here; Prank Science; and The Real Superhumans.