Paparazzi

Darryn Lyons returns for more celeb spotting in this addictive documentary series set in London-based photography agency, Big Pictures.

Friday 24 November, 9.50pm, TV One

Love it or loathe it, the cult of celebrity is everywhere and nothing captures the zeitgeist more than a well-angled paparazzi shot. No one knows this more than Darryn Lyons, the face behind one of the world’s largest paparazzi agencies, Big Pictures.

Lyons started his career at 17 as a local photographer in Australia. He moved quickly through the ranks and became the first ever suburban newspaper photographer to pick up the prestigious “Best Cadet” in the Australian National Press awards.

In 1987, at the age of 22, he arrived in London and began freelancing for the ‘Daily Mail’. Between 1991 and 92 he completed two tours of Sarajevo as a war correspondent. Over the following couple of years he was kidnapped in Bosnia, covered revolutions in both Romania – he was one of the first in to brave the sniper fire in Timisoara – and Czechoslovakia. He also covered the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall and, uniquely, won the Award for Best Press Photographer and Best News Photographer.

While at the Mail, Lyons spotted a niche in celebrity photography – the emergence of the cult of celebrity. He set up his business, Big Pictures, in 1992 to cater for the ever-increasing demands for celebrity snaps. Lyons believes that Big Pictures was instrumental in building up a trend. “Look at ‘Heat’, look at ‘Now’, ‘Closer’, ‘Hot Stars’, ‘Sneak'”, he says, “We built these magazines.”

Big Pictures has come a long way in a short time – Big Pictures Inc. opened in New York in 1995, Big Pictures Scotland opened in Edinburgh in 2002 and there are more in the pipeline – and Lyons is seeking to further consolidate the picture agency’s position by pushing through acquisitions that will “decimate the competition”.

His aim is simple, to be the biggest and the best in the world. As he says himself, “I like thinking and, if you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think Big!”

The photographers in this series follow the celebs to glamorous locations across the word including Venice, Fiji, Los Angeles, Barbados, Antigua, Cannes, New York and Australia. Celebrities featured include: Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Charlotte Church, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Sienna Miller, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Rachel Hunter, Keira Nightley, Pamela Anderson and Kylie Minogue.