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Amanda Ross is Co-Founder & CEO of Cactus TV, a production company she founded with her husband Simon Ross in 1994. Cactus specialises in broad-based entertainment, features and chat shows, its productions enable Ross to indulge in her passions for Books and Cookery, as well as big scale entertainment. Her productions have meant she is lucky enough to work with a wide range of Hollywood stars and famous figures as diverse as Madonna and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Recent programmes include The TV Book Club, Saturday Kitchen Live, Fern, Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain, Richard & Judy (which at the time was Channel 4’s biggest ever commission), and the Rachel Allen series The Galaxy National Book Awards, the ITV3 Crime Thriller Season and Awards to name a few. Ross has won an RTS Award, and been nominated for four others as a producer and director. She has won numerous awards for her contribution to the British publishing industry.
Ross has revolutionised books on TV with Richard & Judy’s Book Club, Summer Read and the televising of The Galaxy National Book Awards and The Crime Thriller Awards and Crime Season, and now The Specsavers TV Book Club. She oversees all Cactus’ book and writing initiatives and in 2007 her book choices accounted for over 26% of all books sold in the UK.
She was named No 1 in the Observer Newspaper List of the fifty most powerful people in publishing. She won a British Book Trade Award for inspiring wider reading in 2005, and The Bookseller Award for expanding the market in 2006 and 2007, and an outstanding Achievement Award in 2009. She received an RTS Educational Television Award in 2007 for her role in the Channel 4 ‘Lost for Words Season’ which focused on children’s literacy. She was voted in the top five of London’s ‘Literary Life’ in the Evening Standard’s ‘1000 Most Influential People 2008’. She produced the highest-rated entertainment show on ITV for 3 consecutive years achieving a 52% audience share.
She has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Birmingham University. She is also a trustee of the Children’s Charity, Kidscape and on the UK Advisory Board for the charity Room to Read, is an Ambassador for Wellbeing of Women and also for the National Literacy Trust. She lives in London with her husband, two young sons, her dog and two cats. She has a house in Italy where she spends as much time as possible indulging her passion for cooking, eating and entertaining.