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Twenty-four designers knighted at tenth annual Knight of Illumination Awards

UK – Sunday 17 September marked the tenth anniversary of the prestigious Knight of Illumination (KOI) Awards, held at the Eventim Apollo in London. During the dazzling evening event, 24 highly respected designers were ‘knighted’ – and bestowed with the iconic KOI sword.

More than 500 entertainment technology industry professionals gathered together to celebrate the achievements of the international lighting and video designers whose work on shows across the UK earned them a coveted place on the shortlist for this year’s KOI Awards. The event was skillfully presented by Ola Melzig, the  internationally renowned technical director, perhaps best known for his tireless work on the annual Eurovision Song Contest – the world’s biggest televised music event.

Pio Nahum, Claypaky CEO, opened the event with a tribute to Creativity:  “This is an especially proud night for Claypaky, as we celebrate the 10th edition of the Knight of Illumination event. Since 2008 the Knight of Illumination Awards has always been about design, not product. It celebrates talent, not specification and the judges look at results, not budget. It’s a celebration of the creative talent in the business that we all love and support. Over the past 20 years, creativity has been marginalized in favor of technology and IT but, according to a report published by the Oxford University, in the next years creative professions are most likely to prosper and lighting and video designers are going to be valued more for their artistry in using light and video effects to enhance emotions, providing a memorable experience, than for their knowledge of technology”

The Knights of Illumination Awards is a celebration of that creativity, and the 2017 “most creative” lighting and video designers are:



Winner of The ADB Theatre Award for Plays: Richard Howell for Guards at the Taj

Winner of The ETC Theatre Award for Dance: Fabiana Piccioli for Echoes

Winner of The PRG XL Video Theatre Award for Musicals: David Hersey for Fiddler on the Roof

Winner of The Hawthorn Theatre Award for Projection Design: Lysander Ashton for City of Glass

Winner of The Robert Juliat Theatre Award for Opera: Simon Corder for The Queen of Spades



Winner of The Light Initiative Television Award for Events: Bernie Davis for BBC1’s Festival of Remembrance

Winner of The Philips Vari-Lite Television Award for Drama: Dominic Clemence for CBBC’s Hetty Feather

Winner of The SLX Television Award for Light Entertainment: Martin Kempton for BBC1’s Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Winner of The Green Hippo Television Award for Video Graphic Display: David Newton for BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing

Winner of The Altman Lighting Television Award for Small Production: Chris Hollier and Andy Cottey for ITV’s Euros 2016

Winner of the STLD Award: Ross Williams for his unwavering support to television lighting designers.



Winner of The MA Lighting Award for Club: Louis Oliver and James Scott for You Me At Six

Winner of The HSL Award for Events: Mike Smith and Cate Carter for Samsung x Royal Blood

Winner of The Avolites Award for Stage: Michael Straun for The xx

Winner of The d3 Technologies Award for Video Electronic Content: Liam Tomaszewski, Mark Calvert, Dave Green and Ross Chapple for Eric Prydz: Epic 5.0

Winner of The GLP Award for Arena: Jeremy Lechterman and Jackson Gallagher for alt-J


Internationally renowned stage lighting designer, Richard Pilbrow presented the Enrico Caironi Lifetime Recognition Award to Rick Fisher, the prolific and talented lighting designer who has won multiple awards and critical acclaim in the West End, Broadway and around the world.

Rick was awarded not only for his achievements in lighting design, but also for his altruistic contributions to industry charities, from his support in establishing Light Relief to his current work with the Technical Entertainment Charity known as Backup. Fisher has also helped guide the Association of Lighting Designers to its current position as the largest body of lighting designers ever assembled.

To close the evening, Backup was presented with a cheque from KOI Headline Sponsor Claypaky for £5,000.

Headline Sponsors of the Knight of Illumination Awards 2017 are Claypaky and OSRAM. The event was also generously supported by KOI 2017 Spotlight Sponsors ADB, Altman Lighting, ArKaos, Avolites, d3 Technologies, ETC, GLP German Light Products, Green Hippo, HSL Group, Light Initiative, MA Lighting, PRG XL Video, Philips Vari-Lite and Robert Juliat, SLX, and by technology and production supplier Hawthorn.

The Knight of Illumination Awards is organised by the ALD, the STLD and The Fifth Estate; it’s coordinated by LD Durham Marenghi and his wife Jennie Marenghi, produced and delivered by The Fifth Estate Ltd.