INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Garish hotels need to provide neutral event foundations

Television is a very strange beast indeed. Producing a live show for a mass audience is similar to producing a live event. It involves creativity, and transforming dull venues into extraordinary locations with a strong visual impact - easier said than done.

My colleague has just been around Europe looking at hotel venues for a design-led client. Despite searching high and low, most of the hotels on offer are inappropriate. Not because of the space they offer, nor because of the service or the food, but because most hotels are not versatile enough.

Bedecked with busy carpets and walls, they look like throwbacks to the 1970s. Lurid orange and brown floor squares compete with swirly pastels on the walls, off-set by heavy curtains. This a deathly cocktail of colour to test the stomach.

Hotels say spillages do not show up - but surely by now there are novel and neutral solutions? And what is wrong with plain, non-patterned drapes?

There must be a middle ground - materials that are modern and chic, yet easy to clean.

As producers, we are being pushed to provide more and more but for less cost. Comedy carpets and gaudy walls have to be covered and that's expensive.

As most of my day is spent inside a TV studio, I know you can transform what are little more than empty warehouses. A blank canvas offers flexibility and enhances creativity. Heavy, patterned rooms do not. Hotels must work harder to provide agencies with the right foundations.

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