It seems one thing the Brits take very seriously is Comic Relief. March 11 marked "Red Nose Day", during which events across the UK are held to raise money for Comic Relief to benefit charities in the UK and abroad. Two high-profile events are the Comic Relief Red Nose Night LIVE and Celebrity Fame Academy another live show. The Compulite Vector control system was used with large television lighting rigs on both the Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and Red Nose Night LIVE ‘05.

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy 2005 was a star-studded extravaganza in which 13 British celebrities went head-to-head in the ultimate singing competition that asks stars to reach every high note and scale every arpeggio to raise money for charities in the UK and abroad. Console operator Roger Williams, working with LD Mark Kenyon, chose the Compulite Vector Blue console to control the comprehensive rig of moving lights and LED fittings on the main Fame Academy stage, along with a Compulite SparkTOP console, operated by David Bishop, to drive the conventional lighting.

A total of 107 different songs in 10 shows were programmed on the Vector over the two-week period. A minimum of 80 minutes was transmitted live each night–two nights consisted of a full two hours live. The Vector was controlling 14 Martin MAC 2000, 35 Martin MAC 500, 8 High End Studio Colors®, 36 Pixel Par 90s, 100 AC Color Blocks, 96 Pulsar Chroma Strips and 2 High End Catalyst™ systems running six layers on each.

"The show ran without a hitch, the Vector is the only console that can easily run eight full DMX streams, yet still remain extremely fast to program and able to adapt as the show develops," says Kenyon. "I was constantly amazed at how fast Roger was able to accomplish even the most complicated looks."

Red Nose Night LIVE ‘05 shown on BBC1 was presented by British celebrity icons Chris Evans, Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Lenny Henry, and Davina McCall together with a long list of comedy greats. Bill Peachment operated with console, working with lighting director Chris Kempton. The Vector Blue system controlled a total of 575 fixtures, including 14 Martin MAC 2000 Performance, 38 Martin MAC 500, 13 Clay Paky Golden Scan 3, 30 VARI*LITE VL2402, 18 VARI*LITE VL2416, 72 Pulsar Chroma Strip, 36 James Thomas Pixel Par 90, 12 James Thomas Pixel Line 1044, 10 Martin MAC 250, and 4 High End Catalyst™.

"Red Nose Night was a fast moving, complex show involving three stages and a wide range of different fixtures," Peachment says. "The Vector handled the job with ease and ran consistently…during the rehearsals and the live broadcast. There simply isn’t another console that is as fast and easy to program as the Vector on even the largest of lighting rigs."

With singers Sir Elton John and George Michael and comedian Robbie Williams participating, Red Nose Day events have raised more than $37 million British pounds (US$70 million) to date.

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