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Giles Smith - The Times - 2009

We’ve had several weeks now to study Jeff Stelling’s Time of Our Lives on Sky Sports, in which the fabled Soccer Saturday score-jockey gathers a handful of retired footballing legends for what can only be described as a right old chinwag. Yet we are nowhere nearer solving the widely debated mystery of where these highly enjoyable, anecdote-rich conversations are taking place. My present hunch: Jeffrey Archer’s apartment on the South Bank. At any rate, beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows and the hint of a balcony, glimpsed past the shoulders of (this week) Dave “Harry” Bassett, Alan “Corky” Cork and Wally “Wally” Downes, formerly of Wimbledon, lies what appears to be the orangey smear of London at night. At least, I’m assuming it’s London, although one would be mad to rule out downtown Los Angeles at this stage.

Within, furnishings are brown and leathery. Wall uplighters cast a softening glow. Exotic pot plants abound. A pair of cut-glass decanters stand decorously to one side. (Ribena in one, I would say, and what looks suspiciously like Castrol GTX in the other.) If you’re going to tell me this is just a trompe l’oeil studio set, then it’s a very good trompe. The re-creation of Jimmy Hill’s breakfast nook for Jimmy Hill’s Sunday Supplement — with its colourful curtains and its untouched plate of croissants — looks like a poor day in amateur dramatics by comparison, and if television knows a warmer welcome right now than the gentle flicker of Stelling’s plasma fireplace, then tell me about it.

We could do with more of this in sports broadcasting, couldn’t we? The shiny, self-important, 24-hour rolling news studio-look is so last century. Once you’ve done deskless and standing up, there is simply nowhere to go with it. Homely is the way forward. Imagine how much our pleasure in Match of the Day would be enhanced if it appeared to be coming from Mark Lawrenson’s kitchen, with everyone standing round the draining board with tea towels, doing the washing-up.


Karl Baumann - Executive Producer NFL

NFL Super Bowl

Wow! Great job! This set was fab!


Ceri Sampson - Design Director Sky Creative

Cricket World Cup

An outstanding piece of work with incredibly positive feedback from the executive producer, through to the channel head. Can't really ask for more than that. Well done.


Jason Wessely - Executive Producer Sky Sports

US Golf

The new US Golf Set, designed by Jonathan Ryder-Richardson is the best Golf Set we have ever had. The design is clean, simple, modern and yet also retains a sense of “Golfing class”. I look at it and think “I’d love to have that in my basement and I’d feel very comfortable sitting in that in my local club!”.

A great deal of thought and effort went into its design and creating and the result is a beautiful set with a wonderful dual function: The classy sit down area for Presenter and Guests and the state-of-the-art Shot Centre for Coaching sessions and Simulated Course Graphics. Both zones function extremely effectively, allowing our viewers to enjoy the Sky Studio sections of the programme without taking anything away from the live coverage. It was also a pleasure liaising with Jonathan during the design process.


Feedback is always good to get..... obviously I have only included the good stuff!