Nigel Lythgoe

Executive Producer and Television Director.
Born Jul 9, 1949

Nigel Lythgoe is an English television and film director and producer, and former dancer in the Young Generation and choreographer. He is noted for being the producer of the shows Pop Idol and American Idol as well as being a creator, executive producer and a regular judge for So You Think You Can Dance. He was also creator of the 2009 competition Superstars of Dance.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Nigel Lythgoe.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Nigel Lythgoe.


1949 Birth Born on July 9, 1949.


1969 19 Years Old Beginning in 1969, Lythgoe performed with the BBC's The Young Generation dance troupe.


1971 21 Years Old He became their choreographer in 1971 and has since choreographed over 500 television shows. … Read More
1974 24 Years Old Lythgoe married Bonita Shawe in 1974, whom he met while he was choreographer for the BBC's Young Generation dance troupe. Shawe was also an audition judge on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance and was a judge on the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance for the first three seasons. The couple divorced in 2010 and have two sons together, Simon and Kristopher and four grandchildren Kyan, Tighe, Dominie and George.


1995 46 Years Old After working his way through the television industry, including at 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.


2000 51 Years Old In 2000, he became the tough judge on Popstars and was nicknamed "Nasty Nigel" by the British tabloid press. … Read More
2002 53 Years Old 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.
2003 54 Years Old He suffered a heart attack in January 2003. … Read More
2007 58 Years Old Lythgoe, and his production partner Ken Warwick, who went to school together from age 12, initially agreed to produce the 2007 Emmys, but could not due to scheduling conflicts with SYTYCD. … Read More
2008 59 Years Old On 4 August 2008, Lythgoe confirmed that he was leaving American Idol and decided to move on with So You Think You Can Dance. … Read More


2009 60 Years Old …  He also created the 2009 competition Superstars of Dance. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.