Paul Claydon, who edits a number of reality shows for TV mogul Simon Cowell - including Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent - has lifted the lid on what it is like to work with British star.
Mr Claydon is from Solihull and has worked for Simon Cowell for many years now, coming to expect phone calls at all hours of the day and night.
It is one of the most overlooked jobs in TV, but also one of the most important! I started on Britain’s Got Talent with Simon, and then he wanted to send a few British crew members out to LA for the US version because he didn’t think much of the American producers and editors!
The 37-year-old now works solely on the US programs for Cowell, and having worked stateside on the three series of The X Factor until it was axed, he is now on the ninth edition of America's Got Talent.
It is up to Paul to to sift through hours of footage to decide which acts get featured, in which order, and how much each one is featured.
Multi-millionaire Simon Cowell says he relies on Paul to make his shows look good:
– Simon Cowell
Paul has a unique style and approach which sets him apart and helps to make each production he works on a runaway success.
As the live semi-finals for Britain’s Got Talent get into full swing - featuring Birmingham singing duo Kieran and Sarah - Paul is busy working on the American version of the show.
After studying a degree in film at Brunel University, he returned to Solihull and began work at The Sound and Picture House at Five Ways in Birmingham, before getting his big break and moving to London to work on Big Brother.
– Paul Claydon
A guy said ‘I’m starting this new show called The X Factor, it’s going to be huge’! So I was in at the beginning and started my working relationship with Simon Cowell.
On the technicalities of his job, he said:
I sit in a dark room and spend hours watching footage before deciding how each show is edited together. With shows like America’s and Britain’s Got Talent, the judges can get through 30 acts a day and we can’t show them all. I put a rough cut of the show together, then we send the tape to Simon – he’s usually on a yacht in the Caribbean or somewhere. He then gives us lots of notes about what he doesn’t like. He has the final say on a lot of stuff.
Paul also says Simon can be a 'hard taskmaster':
Simon has the attention span of a gnat and is very easily bored. I have to constantly surprise him to keep him interested. He is a very hard taskmaster, and when he phones at 4am he’s not exactly our favourite person. But he just wants to make the best show, which is fair enough.
Paul now lives in the affluent, Californian district of Los Feliz, where he looks out onto redwood trees and downtown Los Angeles, where he has been for five years. His wife is from Venezuela and also develops TV shows, but for a different production company.
He says he is looking forward to showing his wife round his native Solihull soon – and going to a Birmingham City football match at his beloved St Andrew’s.
I’m a proud Bluenose! I keep up with the scores from 5,000 miles away and listen to matches on the radio. I was so thrilled when Blues were saved from relegation this season. I startled my neighbours by running round my garden screaming at 6am.