Keith Ewart

Forename/s: 
Keith
Family name: 
Ewart
Work area/craft/role: 
Company: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
82
Interview Date(s): 
18 Apr 1989
Production Media: 

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Interview
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Biographical

In the 1960’s and 1970’s cinematographer Keith Ewart was much in demand directing many famous commercials - with a young Ridley Scott often working as his art director. Eventually, he decided to construct a small studio centre, and Ewart Studios (with two main spaces, Studio A and Studio B) opened in the south London district of Wandsworth in 1968.

The studios really came into their own from 1982, when Channel 4 began and independent producers used them for shows such as “Vic Reeves' Big Night Out” and Jonathan Ross' early shows, including “The Last Resort”. However, in 1983 Limehouse Studios opened in Docklands. The smaller studio there was a very similar in size to Studio A, and so was in direct competition. Then, in early-1989, the government allowed ITV companies to sell ‘spare’ time in their studios to independent production companies. Now facing even stiffer competition, Ewart decided to sell the studios, and they were acquired by the Capital Radio group. (Tragically, Keith Ewart died of a brain tumour in July 1989.)

Renamed Capital Studios, they attracted sufficient work to remain in business even when, from the early-1990s, competition increased when the BBC’s studios were also marketed to independents.