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Nigel speaks TRUTH to MOVE about what a teacher is...
Born in Wirral, England to dockworker, George Percival Lythgoe and mother Gertrude Emily Lythgoe, he became interested in dance at the age of 10. He began with tap and then went on to become a student at the Hylton-Bromley School of Dance and Drama on Merseyside where he studied classical ballet, modern jazz, ballroom, character, classical Greek and National dance from various countries. Lythgoe's first professional job was in the Corps de Ballet for the National tour of "The Merry Widow." He went on to train in London under Joanne Steuer and Molly Molloy. Beginning in 1969, Lythgoe performed with the BBC's "Young Generation" dance troupe. He later became their choreographer in 1971 and has choreographed over 500 television shows.
Early in Lythgoe's career, he learned to use techniques (e.g. multi-cameras) to film choreography well, a skill that would later lead to a TV career. During the 1970s and into the 1980s, Lythgoe had the opportunity to perform with dancers from Cyd Charisse to Gene Kelly. He also choreographed for Ben Vereen, Shirley Bassey and (most famously) the Muppets. Lythgoe, in an interview with People said that he was "the only person to dance, choreograph, produce and direct the Royal Variety Performance."
After working his way through the television industry, including working for TVS by 1995 Lythgoe held the post of Head of Entertainment and Comedy at London Weekend Television, where he commissioned and produced shows including Gladiators and Blind Date.
In 2000 he became the tough judge on Popstars and was nicknamed "Nasty Nigel" by the British tabloid press. He was loaned by London Weekend Television to Bob Geldof's television company Planet 24 to executive produce and direct the UK version of Survivor. Lythgoe then joined Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment group as President of 19 Television. He developed and produced a new show created by Fuller, Pop Idol. This then became a global franchise of which includes American Idol.
Lythgoe moved to the U.S. in 2002 to produce American Idol and then became producer/judge and co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance on the FOX television network.
Lythgoe, and his production partner Ken Warwick, who went to school together from the age of 12, initially agreed to produce the 2007 Emmys, but could not due to scheduling conflicts with SYTYCD.
In 2007, Lythgoe worked with a number of prominent California-based Brits, including then-British Consul-General Bob Peirce, to found BritWeek, an annual program of events held in Los Angeles and Orange County to celebrate the strong business, historical, and entertainment ties between the UK and California.
On 4 August 2008, Lythgoe confirmed that he was leaving American Idol and decided to move on with So You Think You Can Dance.
In 2009 Lythgoe and Fuller formed a company called Big Red 2 Entertainment. Fuller is a fan of Manchester United and Lythgoe of Liverpool FC. Both teams play in red. Their first venture was to bring a world of dance to America with Superstars of Dance for NBC...
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