Directors in the realms of film and television are known for their brand. Chris Power’s brand is well established. As the director of productions in the UK, Ireland, and America, he’s been a part of the success of Primetime Emmy Winner Dancing with the Stars, Lip Sync Battle Shorties, Hypnotize Me, BAFTA Winners Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, Gladiators, Ultimate Tag, and a host of others. While acclaimed for his uncanny ability to relate the power and grace of physical competition, the brand he rightly claims is directing under immense pressure whether it be for dramatic or comedic purposes. From the largest national events honoring Britain’s royal family to the country’s most beloved weekly television programs, Power seemingly handles with ease the demands of situations that are staggering
With an estimated audience of 250,000,000, Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebration HMQ90 was a massive global television event for the ITV network. Featuring performances by hundreds of horses, drum corps, a live orchestra, and artists such as Kylie Minogue, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Shirley Bassey, and others, pulling this event off without a hitch was a herculean feat. As director of HMQ90, Chris Power established himself as a director of the highest level to an international audience via this production. A production such as this is beyond all others in its layered complexity. Animals and artists performing, the ability to capture it all without impairing the vantage of those in physical attendance at Windsor Castle, and the precision the coordination of all this (and the Royals) requires; it seems inconceivable to please all involved parties. This makes it all the more impressive that Power’s directing of the event achieved these goals as well as resulted in a BAFTA Award for the production. He relates, “This production was personally momentous for me being a citizen of the UK and I felt very proud of being part of such a prestigious and historic event.” With the Queen herself and other members of the Royal Family in attendance, the upgraded security which comes in tow with them only served to exacerbate the requirements for Chris and his team.
You might not expect the same director of an event requiring such decorum to also be the person directing a series titled Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway but that’s exactly why Chris Power is so respected in the industry. Currently directing season seventeen of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Chris confirms he’s pleased to be part of such a beloved show. He’s personally received three BAFTA nominations the series as well as the Royal Television Society award. The program is highly diverse featuring music performances, comedy sketches, physical games audience surprises, making it one of the most demanding shows for a director. These are opportunities rather than obstacles for someone like Power who admits that the new wrinkle of creating this show without a live audience due to Covid is yet another chance to create a solution. He communicates, “We have a virtual audience of 320 people sitting at home watching the show on their laptops and TVs. It’s a technical feat of brilliance to pick out the correct viewer to display live on the show and establish the proper tone. I could not get through this show without having the top crew members on my side. They are brilliant and get me through the hardest day of the week. The relief at the end is huge as is the immense sense of pride from the achievement.”
Writer: Coleman Haan