Diamond Jubilee concert director says celebrities 'packed away their egos' for the Queen

By Simon Round, June 7, 2012

Millions of people enjoyed the Diamond Jubilee Concert in front of Buckingham Palace on Monday night. Geoff Posner was not one of them.

Mr Posner, who directed the BBC’s coverage of the event, was far too busy juggling the logistics of such a massive operation even to think about what he was watching.

He said: “I’m sitting in front of 30 monitors, wondering if this camera will work, if there is anything I should be covering which isn’t in the script, or if we should change the running order. It was all a blur.”

Mr Posner started work in January and for the past two months he has been working “practically 24 hours a day”.

It was his idea to have projections on the façade of Buckingham Palace during the performance of Madness’s Our House.

“The moment I knew we were going to have Buckingham Palace as a backdrop, I immediately said, why don’t we try projecting? The problem was that when you hold a concert on June 4, close to the longest day, and you come off air at 10.45pm, you don’t have much time, because these projections only work in the dark.”

He added: “Strangely enough, although there were lots of egos, they all seemed to get packed away when they were in front of the Palace. We took bets as to how many running orders there were going to be. You get the final running order, superseded by the final, final, running order, but in the end it was more about logistics than ego.”

Mr Posner, a veteran of several huge live events including a Eurovision Song Contest, Live 8 and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee concert, reflected on how privileged he was to be involved.

“It’s not very often you can be in a job where you’re listening to Tom Jones, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. I’m thinking, how does a little Jewish boy from north-west London end up working with these great stars?”

Last updated: 10:23am, June 7 2012