How I became a Double Award Winning Lighting Director

In 2018, I (Andy Stagles) became the first Lighting Director to win two Knight of Illumination Awards in the same year. It was a wonderful awards ceremony, a fantastic surprise and I now have two awards hanging on the wall. One is for Songs of Praise and the other for the Mobo Awards. But how did I manage to win two awards for such different program genres?

I believe that my blend of having a positive attitude, a hard work ethic, a massive belief in inter department team work, a broad range of experience and fantastic training help me bring something unique to fulfilling the role of the LD.

The 2017 MOBO Awards

In 2017 I found myself at the Leeds arena planning for the awards ceremony and music numbers.

My aim was to make it look as big as possible and this meant that I would need to stretch the budget as far as I could.

I decided to design the lighting in such a way that the  effects lighting fixtures could also be used to light the massive audience during the awards ceremony sections. This effectively cut the amount of lighting equipment needed by a third – which meant I could then have more effects lighting!

I built a 3D model of the arena and lighting rig enabling me to demonstrate different options in the rig and the video wall configuration to the production team via video conferencing. 2 weeks before the job went in, the production team knew exactly how the job was going to look.

“Huge amounts of excitement and energy were created in the lighting. The effects achieved were really impressive and the audience lighting was perfectly balanced. Every part of the rig was well thought out and used to the fullest extent.”

With Thanks to Bill Peachment, Jack Linekar, DanTerzino  and JL Lighting.

Songs of Praise

I was fortunate enough to become the LD of Songs of Praise in June 2017, when the BBC awarded the contract to a joint bid made by Avanti Media and Nine Lives.

This production relies on ongoing co-ordinated and efficient working practices. We often do more than one outside broadcast recording session in a run – meaning that we have to de-rig a church and then travel straight to the next venue the next day using the same equipment. We have built up a package of conventional and intelligent lighting fixtures that fit the bill. Some are state of the art LED, and some are older than I am. The core lighting crew are handpicked and the result is award winning! Sometimes we need to sub-hire certain pieces of equipment and get extra labour, but we go to great lengths to source these as locally and efficiently as possible – its all in the planning.


With Thanks to Neil Wallace, Malcolm Hughes, Andy Patterson, Lighting Rental UK, ELP and JL Lighting.


“The Professionalism is incredible here; you would never know the circumstances under which it all happened (just 16 hours in the Cathedral). There’s a warm and mellow quality to the architecture and the lighting achieves a real sense of harmony and uplift within the space”