The series - divided into three elements - consisted of various open auditions staged in hotel conference rooms throughout the country, followed by the ‘semi finals’ which took place at a staged ‘rehearsal room’ in Teddington Studios, ending with the ten week finals hosted at Fountain Studios in Wembley. Walmsley - who also designed the worldwide-copied ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire’ studio set - told us: "Pop Idol has been fascinating as a design brief, especially because the series has been in three parts. We started with a large video cube wall and one lonely plasma screen at Teddington Studios, but then the anti was upped to an orgy of AV for the final 10 weeks of this mammoth show."
Screenco supplied a 15mm central rotating screen complemented by 25mm LED Modules and 42" plasma screens - sourced from sister company CT London - which were arranged about the set in an abstract fashion. The 15mm LED was mounted on a bespoke rotating structure, whilst the 25mm LED Modules and Plasma screens were all supported by tailor-made aluminium brackets supplied and constructed by stage contractors Total Fabrications. Also provided by Screenco were the graphics - displayed during the show - which ran from two Doremi V1D Digital video player/recorders and were mixed through a Magic Dave DVE Desk.
Screenco project manager Steve Purkess commented, "We all had to work closely together - ourselves with A1 Set and Total Fabrications, as well as consulting with the studio production manager Mandy Lee, lighting director Al Gurden and the director Jonathan Bullen, in order to achieve the end product that everybody wanted."
Andy Walmsley added: "The LED element is breaking new ground for TV. Videowalls and even a limited amount of LED modules have, of course, already been used on TV, but nobody has ever swamped a studio with this amount of kit before. Thames TV are putting me up for a Bafta for this work, so I guess you can conclude that they are pleased with the finished effect, and hopefully you will start to see a lot more AV equipment integrated into TV music shows from now on."