So You Think You Can Dance: Judge Nigel Lythgoe
Nigel Lythgoe is the co-founder of Big Red 2 Entertainment, a television entertainment company formed with former CEO of 19 Entertainment, Simon Fuller. Director, producer, choreographer, philanthropist and former dancer, Nigel Lythgoe also served as president of 19 Television from 2007-2009 and prior to his tenure there, was Controller of Entertainment and Comedy at London Weekend Television. Lythgoe became a household name in the U.K. as “Nasty Nigel,” the judge on “Popstars.”
While at 19, Nigel produced “Pop Idol,” which was later spun-off in the U.S. as AMERICAN IDOL. Lythgoe’s role as executive producer of AMERICAN IDOL ultimately paved the way for his work as co-creator and executive producer of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE which has won numerous Emmy Awards, including two last year, for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Costumes for a Variety/Music Program or a Special. Today, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is broadcast in 147 countries, and 16 countries have their own versions.
His other executive producer/co-creator credits include seven seasons of AMERICAN IDOL, as well as “Superstars of Dance.” Most recently he co-directed “Carrie Underwood: An All Star Holiday Special.” AMERICAN IDOL has been nominated for 39 Emmy Awards, and in 2007, received the prestigious Governors Award, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ highest honor, for IDOL GIVES BACK, which Lythgoe executive-produced. Lythgoe also served as producer and director of the acclaimed Celine Dion/Elvis Presley duet featured in the special.
Lythgoe, along with director Adam Shankman, “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba and actress Katie Holmes, recently founded the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to talented, underserved youth to help them realize their dreams of becoming professional dancers and is working to elevate and standardize dance instruction nationwide. In less than a year, The Dizzy Feet Foundation has raised more than $300,000 and provided scholarships to nine amazing dancers at some of the most prestigious institutions in the nation.
Last summer, Lythgoe was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts for his outstanding contribution to the performing arts in television from the University of Bedfordshire in London. Recently he was also elected chairman of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, Los Angeles, and was awarded the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation’s Philanthropy Award. He continues to serve on the board of LA’s BEST after-school enrichment program.
Lythgoe lives in Los Angeles.
Next: Judge Mia Michaels