The BBC production team behind coverage of Prince William’s Earthshot Awards and Harry and Meghan’s wedding have been praised for putting on a ‘phenomenal’ show to mark the Queen’s 70th anniversary on the throne .
Britons have praised organizers for last night’s ‘magical’ and ‘phenomenal’ show as thousands watched live from The Mall, peaking at 13.4 million plays through their TVs , making it the most-watched show of the year.
Two of the main organizers were Claire Popplewell, Creative Director of BBC Studios Events and Mark Sidaway, Executive Producer of BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace.
Claire Popplewell, creative director of BBC Studios Events, was one of the main organizers of the party outside the Palace yesterday
One of the main organizers yesterday was Mark Sidaway, executive producer of the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace. Pictured last month at the BAFTAs
Ms Popplewell was employed by BBC Studios for three years and eight months, following a multi-award-winning career as a director, executive producer, producer and editor.
She had spent more than 27 years at the BBC as Ceremonies Editor and Executive Producer.
She is currently responsible for planning and executing all royal, ceremonial and commemorative programming, and has organized global events including Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the international broadcast of Harry and Meghan’s wedding, the D-Day 75 and, more recently, VE-Day 75.
Britons have praised organizers for last night’s ‘magical’ and ‘phenomenal’ show as thousands watched live from The Mall, with a peak of 13.4million tuned in via their TVs.
Royal fans watch Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall appear on stage during the Platinum Jubilee concert which takes place outside Buckingham Palace
Drone show above Buckingham Palace during BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace spelled ‘Thank You Madam’ in tribute to the Queen
Crowds heard archival recordings of the Queen talking about the future of the planet in 1989 during her Christmas message: “The future of all life on earth depends on how we treat each other others and how we treat the plants and animals that share our world with us’
Speaking ahead of the Jubilee, she said: ‘The BBC’s ceremonial events team have been present at all the major royal monuments since the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
“It’s been a tough few months, but the long-term relationships with Met Police, Royal Parks and the Armed Forces have helped them look favorably on our endless and sometimes bizarre requests.”
This included a 360 degree view of the Horse Guards Parade.
Mr Sidaway has been with BBC Studios for a year and five months, having worked as an executive producer for NBC and ITV’s The X Factor.
He was also executive producer of the first-ever Earthshot Awards ceremony at the Alexandra Palace on October 17, 2021, with his team winning a BAFTA for Best Live Event at the awards show last month.
Mark Sidaway, executive producer of the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, (right), with Dermot O’Leary and Clara Amfo after winning a BAFTA for Best Live Event, after hosting ‘The Earthshot Prize 2021’
The University of Sheffield graduate said he was “delighted and honoured” when the Queen agreed to star in a special streak with Paddington Bear.
“It was a little nerve-wracking making sure everything blended perfectly with Queen + Adam Lambert’s live performance,” he added.
Speaking about the Earthshot Prize, launched by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, Mr Sidaway said it was a “monumental challenge” to create an “unforgettable and star-studded awards ceremony” while “striving to achieve the highest sustainability standards”.
This morning Sir Cliff Richard said last night’s show was the best performance created for Her Majesty.
“The show I saw last night was probably the best show ever for the Queen,” he told Sky News.
“I mean they must have spent millions on the lighting, it was just fantastic.”
Tom Bairstow, founder of design and production studio NorthHouse, worked with the BBC on the event, designing the visuals for the celebrations
NorthHouse, a design and production studio, worked with the BBC on the event, designing the visuals for the celebrations.
He brought the palace to life with projection mapped visuals and visuals on LED screens.
Founder Tom Bairstow said it was an “honour” to be awarded the contract and to help deliver the show for the Queen and the BBC.
His team spent six months preparing for production and had to 3D scan Buckingham Palace, before reproducing it in their specially designed software and designing the projections to fit all angles of the building.
“It was technically incredibly difficult,” Mr Bairstow said. “It was just amazing to see everything. When we arrived everything was working perfectly.
His team also worked closely with drone light show company, SKYMAGIC, to bring “ideas from projection into drones and rolling them back.”
“It was an opportunity to collaborate,” added Mr. Bairstow. “We’ve worked on big shows, including the Super Bowl, and spent a year with Coldplay…but that was obviously very special.
“It’s been incredible and there’s been an incredible response.”
How was the drone display created?
Created by SKYMAGIC, last night’s display featured 400 drones above Buckingham Palace.
The performance was created in the six months leading up to the event, with the SKYMAGIC team working with the BBC and the palace on the designs.
Once a finished storyboard was agreed upon, including the much-loved corgi, the design was brought to life by the team using specialist software.
They then assign “individual waypoints” to each drone so they can perform their “own mission” at night.
The team usually rehearse the show for a week at the performance venue, but the ‘top secret’ nature of the Jubilee concert meant last night’s performance was the only one in that space.
Instead, they did some rehearsals at an “off-the-grid venue” in the north of England.
The battery-powered drones are surrounded by two geofences, which means that if something went wrong and the drone reached the fence, it would carefully lower itself to the ground.
Other rave organizers included musician Gary Barlow and former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne.
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said as the show approached she was “delighted” to bring the nation together for “this incredible and once-in-a-lifetime event” to celebrate the Queen’s “memorable moment”. ’70 years on the throne.
The performance included a special two-and-a-half-minute sequence between the monarch and Paddington Bear, which had been kept secret for several months by Buckingham Palace, BBC Studios and Heyday Films/STUDIOCANAL.
Anna Marsh, CEO of STUDIOCANAL, said filming with Her Majesty and Paddington at the Palace is a memory to “treasure”, adding that “Her Majesty’s warmth and generosity was a joy to behold”.
Last night’s installation featured three stages, linked by walkways, which created a unique 360-degree experience in front of Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial.
They were linked together by 70 columns representing each year of Her Majesty’s reign.
To the left of the palace was an orchestra stage with an orchestra of 75 military musicians from the bands of the British Army Household Division.
And to the right was the Pop stage, which was supported by LED screens. In front of the Queen Victoria Memorial stood the final stage, facing the crowds in The Mall.
The entire front of Buckingham Palace has been projected, making it the largest screen in the UK for the night.
Throughout the evening, the live concert lasted over two and a half hours, featuring over 30 artists and performers from pop, rock, classical and musicals, with Queen + Adam Lambert opening the show .
The event was organized by BBC Studios Productions. The same team produced the Trooping the Color cover, the beacon lighting, the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s and the Pageant.
They also made Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen.