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Russell Howard’s Good News

Russell Howard is about to start filming his tenth series of the hit show Russell Howard’s Good News.

At first it was made at Riverside Studios but when they closed, the show moved to Shepperton. For this 2015 series it is based at The London Studios on the South Bank. Filmed for BBC Two by Avalon Television, the topical comedy show looks at his unique perspective of some of the big stories dominating the news that week. Good News includes sketches and guest appearances as well as stand-up from Russell.

Lighting director Martin Kempton has updated the rig and it now includes a mix of Mac Auras and Martin Stagebar 54s with a few Mac 700s and VL1000s, all supplied by RML. He explained that the Auras are the perfect wash light for this show. Behind Russell are three giant projected images relating to the topic he is discussing. The stage floor is lit with a colour that complements the images and as many as ten different colours might be needed in one show. Martin explained that the Auras provide a beautifully smooth cover with the ability to mix vibrant hues or really subtle shades.

Two of them are also used as sidelights keying Russell. “The Aura is an extremely adaptable fixture; it can light scenery very well but can also produce a range of white tints that enable it to be used as a very effective keylight or backlight,” said Martin.

Meanwhile, the Stagebar 54s are set into traps around the stage enabling them to uplight the scenery at different times in the show. Thus what appear to be flat screens suddenly transform into textured shelves with all sorts of interesting objects on them. It's a very clever illusion and Martin explained that the Stagebars are the perfect instrument to make this happen, with their powerful wash of colour and wide spread.

The show also includes sketches that are recorded in the studio during the morning and occasionally the Auras and VL1000s are used to supplement the more conventional tungsten lights used for these.

Russell Howard's Good News is on Thursday nights on BBC2 up to 10th December, plus all the repeats on BBC3 and Dave.

23rd October 2015

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