Paul Middleton
Paul Middleton

Paul Middleton

Professional Membership


I have been interested in lighting for stage and TV since I was 15 years old when I lit my first amateur theatre production alongside my father after having rewired the lighting to accommodate a brand new 12 channel Mini-2 Dimmer system working with 20 Patt 23 and Patt 123 lights. I year later I got my first chance to do professional theatre lighting as a Follow-Spot operator at the Theatre Royal in Brighton. Work there also included doing lighting rigging as well as general get-ins and get-outs. Luckily Thursday afternoons at school were usually Sport or Self Study and I managed to get out of school at lunchtimes to head down to the theatre to do the matinee performances. I was finally spotted by my new Physics teacher at a show and was invited to take over the lighting for the school theatre performances, and became the first pupil to get a credit for the lighting of a show. A duty that normally fell under the domain of the 6th form Physics teacher.
A trip to the old BBC Television Theatre on Shepherds Bush Green to see "Rufus Thomas in Concert" led to my ambition to get into TV lighting and after finding out that the BBC insisted on O Level Physics for all technical staff, I undertook that exam after studying on my own alongside my A level studies in Technical Drawing and Art. Two years at Ravensbourne College of Art & Design followed and I was finally able to apply to the BBC for a Trainee Cameraman role in 1975. My hopes of a lifetime career at the BBC were however dashed by the medical board. The letter from the Engineering Recruitment Officer, after my first technical interview, reported that he considered my aptitude was perfect for the job, but that due to being totally deaf in one ear they couldn't offer me a Trainee post, in case I should have any accident and lose the hearing in my other ear as well. So I went back to work in the theatre, with one of my first jobs being as the onstage sound monitor mixer on Elvis the Musical in 1978. Little did I know then that 35 years later I would finally get to work as a Lighting Director for the BBC.
Along the way I have helped design lighting installations for 4 theatres.

Over the years I have covered very many roles within the TV industry. I first trained as a television technical operator at Ravensbourne College in 1975 where I specialised in lighting and camera work - which included several attachments to the lighting department at LWT. In 1982 I joined S4C in Cardiff after having worked in the Theatre on the London fringe as well as the West End and then at the University of Aberystwyth as well as regional theatres and touring with bands around Scandinavia. Work at S4C covered technical installation of equipment and studio lighting as well as VT and telecine operations. I then became a full time videotape editor and eventually led a management buyout of the Mentrau post production division of S4C. After 1998 I had also worked on software and hardware to enable the offline preparation of teletext subtitles using Acorn computers. This work later expanded into the digitization of video clips for use on interactive CD's and DVD's for schools, as well as providing computers for location 16 mm and 35 mm film shoots where multiple computers and video monitors could be synchronised to film cameras shooting at 25 frames per second. This avoided the flicker and frame bars that are still seen on programmes today where camera operators don't know the settings on equipment to use to avoid those issues. Electronic cameras were not used for Drama production at that time due to the relatively low quality of the cameras, and restrictions by the Unions that only allowed their use for news-gathering. By 2003 I decided I wanted to move from computers back into TV, film and theatre and I went on two BBC studio lighting courses at Evesham and a location lighting course. I then got work as an OB Lighting Director doing various programmes for BBC Bristol. Since 2010 my work has again diverged into other areas besides lighting within the live events industry where I now cover multiple areas of production including sound, set design, live video conferencing, webinars, hybrid conferences and event production alongside a lifelong interest in good lighting design in all areas. So in summary my roles over the past ten years have included stand by spark, best boy, gaffer, TV lighting director, DOP, live event producer, live stream video producer, live event lighting designer, console operator, camera operator (for live and remote operation), live stream/live event sound mixer, set and graphic designer and video editor.

  • Lighting Director
  • Lighting Designer
  • Console Op
  • Director of Photography
  • Best Boy
  • Production Electrician
  • Followspot Operator
  • Engineer
  • Cinematographer
  • Rigger
  • Crew
  • Graphics
  • Multi-Camera
  • Light Entertainment Television
  • Chamsys Lighting Consoles
  • Live Broadcast


Show name Venue Role Creative team Year
BBC Children in Need Swindon Steam Museum Lighting Director BBC Points West 2012
BBC Children in Need Bristol Weston Super Mare Pier Lighting Director BBC Points West 2011

Contact Paul Middleton with your enquiry

  • Widely experienced and skilled in multiple areas of TV, Theatre and Live Events
  • Technically knowledgeable
Paul Middleton