In 2001 I designed a show in the UK called POP IDOL. The show was one of those rare jobs where all of us who worked on the show knew within the first couple of episodes that we where working on one of those ' special ones '. We where not wrong the show became a monumental success becoming one of the biggest entertainment shows in the history of British Television.
On a personal point the show allowed me the opportunity to break the visual mould of typical Saturday night glossy floor entertainment shows as I some how managed to convince the network to go with what was at the time a completely fresh look with a grungy metal scaffolding feel that would be more at home on an arena rock tour than a family prime time network show. I was also was one of the first in the UK TV industry to utilize large quantities of l.e.d video screens. ( now standard practice )
In 2003 I had become frustrated by the UK TV industry and with a long time burning ambition to move to the states I made a snap decision during a particularly painful experience on the BAFTA awards and went to see an immigration attorney the morning after...What I didn't know was that the Idol format had days earlier sold to the states, Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick would invite me to go with them to recreate the show in Hollywood and my destiny was sealed with a permanent move to the States.
I designed 8 seasons of American Idol and several IDOL specials, I was nominated three times for an Emmy and in 2009 I won an Emmy for best Production design for American Idol.
The Idol series has become an international franchise with productions utilizing either my entire design or elements thereof for.. Australian Idol, Latin American Idol, Idols (Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Serbia-Montenegro & Macedonia), Canadian Idol, Idols West Africa, Indian Idol, Indonesian Idol, New Zealand Idol, Hay Superstar, Nouvelle Star (France) , American Juniors, Pinoy Idol (Philippines), Idol (Norway), Idol (Poland), Deutschland sucht den Superstar, Singapore Idol, Malaysian Idol, Vietnam Idol, Music Idol (Bulgaria), 'Idolos (Brazil & Portugal), Super Idol (Greece), Solo Idol (Solomon Islands), Super Star (Arab World and Megaszt'ar (Hungary).
I owe a lot to Idol not just because I kicked started an American career by designing the biggest show in US history but also because it was the show that opened the door to the life I had so long dreamed of living in America. I will be eternally grateful to Simon, Nigel, Ken and Simon.