Mike Leyland (4 September 1941 – 14 September 2009), one half of the legendary Leyland Brothers, who rose to fame as pioneering Australian explorers and documentary film-makers, best known for their popular Channel Nine television show, Ask the Leyland Brothers, died today.

Ask the Leyland Brothers ran on Australian television from 1976 until 1984. The Leyland Brothers and their journeys have become a part of Australian television history. At the shows’ peak, over 2.5 million Australians tuned in to watch the weekly programme, where the brothers travelled to far away destinations around Australia after viewers wrote in to ask them to visit.

Mike was eight and his brother Mal was five when they migrated with their parents from England to Newcastle in New South Wales in 1950. Mike remained in Newcastle for the duration of his days.

Mike passed away this morning from Parkinson’s related complications. He is survived by his widow, Margie, daughters Kerry, Sandy and Dawn; step-daughters Sarah and Alison; and seven grand children.

A service to celebrate his life will be held later this week.