Nigel Lythgoe has given his identity as Choreographer, television and film director and producer and television dance competition judge. Born on July 9, 1949, Lythgoe belongs to British Nationality. He was born and raised in Wirral, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom. He is also famously known as the producer of the popular shows such as Pop Idol and American Idol. He has also the experience of working as a creator, executive producer and a regular judge on dance competition So You Think You Can Dance. He was also the creator of the competition Superstars of Dance.


Born from dockworker George Percival Lythgoe and Gertrude Emily Lythgoe, Nigel Lythgoe started to dance at the age of 10. Following his passion for dance, Lythgoe joined Hylton-Bromley School of Dance and Drama. He also attended the Perry Cowell School of Dance in Wallasey, Merseyside. In these two schools, he learned modern jazz, classical ballet, ballroom, character and National dance of many countries.


He started his job as a professional  from the Crops de Ballet for the National tour of  “The Merry Widow” where he was trained under Joanne Steuer and Molly Molly. In 1969, he performed in BBC’s “Young Generation” dance group. He served the group as a choreographer in 1971 and has choreographed more than 500 Television shows since then.

Nigel-Lythgoe (FILEminimizer)

At the beginning of a career, Lythgoe learned to use different techniques to film choreography well such as multi cameras. Eventually, it led him to Television career. During his career, Lythgoe got the opportunity to perform with various dance troupes from Cyd Charisse to Gene Kelly and choreographed for Been Vereen and most famously the Muppets. He was considered as a dancer, choreographer, producer, and director of the Royal Variety Performance. He also served at London Weekend Television as the Head of Entertainment and commissioned and produced shows such as Gladiators and Blind Date. He became judge in various shows including Popstars, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. In 2000 he became the judge of Popstars and then became a producer of American Idol in 2002 after moving to U.S. In August 2008, Lythgoe started to appear in So You Think You Can Dance, leaving American Idol. Lythgoe is a Liverpool fan, later on, in 2009, he formed a company named Big Red 2 Entertainment teaming up with Manchester united fan Fuller, both teams play in red. Superstars of Dance for NBC was their first venture. In 2010 August, he returned to American Idol as executive producer.


While coming to his personal life, Lythgoe was married with Bonita shawe in 1974, who was also audition Judge on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance. Their relationship ended in 2010 with Divorce. They have two children Simon and Kristopher and four grandchildren.

"Since I’ve been in the U.S, I’ve lost the back of my heart, 15ft. of intestine and my marriage-and God, I miss my intestine.” Nigel Lythoge.

Lythgoe was a chain smoker and he suffered a heart attack in January 2003 and escaped from death. During his career, he earned net worth of $110 million (2016) and currently he owns a vineyard in Paso Robles, California.