He’s the man behind British and American hits like Pop Idol and American Idol, and he’s out to make an even bigger impression on American pop culture with So You Think You Can Dance. Find out more about this one man musical firestorm, Nigel Lythgoe!

10. He first became interested in the art of dance at the age of 10, beginning with tap, and then moving on to ballet, jazz, ballroom, character, classical Greek, and National dance, which he studied at the Hylton-Bromley School of Dance and Drama.

9. His first professional dance job was in the Corps de Ballet for the national tour of The Merry Widow.

8. Nigel trained under Joanne Steuer and Molly Molloy.

7. In 1969, Nigel began dancing with the BBC’s Young Generation dance troupe. He became the group’s choreographer in 1971.  In this role, Nigel choreographed over 500 television shows for the group.

6. Early in his career, Nigel began film choreography to aid his subjects in rehearsals and study. Using techniques such as multi-cameras, Nigel developed the skills that would later lead to a career in television.

5. During his career Nigel has danced with or choreographed for big names including Cyd Charisse, Gene Kelly, Ben Vereen, Shirley Bassey and the Muppets.

4. In 2000, Nigel was the tough judge on the UK series, Popstars, thereby earning the nickname “Nasty Nigel” from the British press.

3. He produced and directed the UK version of Survivor.

2. Nigel me this wife Bonita Shawe while he was a choreographer for the Young Generation dance troupe. They married in 1974, had two sons together and divorced in 2007.

1. After his divorce, Nigel had been romantically linked to Mick Jagger’s former partner, Jerry Hall, though he denied it.  He has also been associated with Priscilla Presley for a short time in 2007.