• OUR TEAM

    CACTUS IS A BUSY, DYNAMIC COMPANY THAT FREELANCERS OFTEN RETURN TO AGAIN AND AGAIN - BUT HERE ARE THE CORE MEMBERS OF OUR TEAM...

    AMANDA ROSS - CO-FOUNDER & CEO

    Always closely involved in her productions, and renowned for her professionalism, enthusiasm and her attention for detail, Amanda has won an RTS Award, and has been nominated for four others as a Producer and a Director. One of her proudest achievements is having produced the highest-rated entertainment show on ITV for 3 consecutive years, achieving a massive 52% share with The British Soap Awards in 2001. As well as her many TV accolades, she has also won numerous awards for her contribution to the British publishing industry.

     

    Amanda is credited with revolutionising books on TV, first with Richard & Judy’s Book Club, then with their Summer Readcampaign, through to The Galaxy National Book Awards, The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards and Season, and The Specsavers TV Book Club. She personally oversees all Cactus’ book and writing initiatives, and in 2007 her choices accounted for over 26% of all books sold in the UK – earning Amanda No.1 place in the Observer newspaper’s list of the Fifty Most Powerful People in Publishing. She won a prestigious British Book Trade Award for inspiring wider reading in 2005, The Bookseller Award for expanding the market in 2006 and 2007, and an Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009. In 2007, Amanda received an RTS Educational Television Award for her role in the Channel 4 Lost for Words season, which focused on children’s literacy. She was voted in the top 5 of London’s ‘Literary Life’ in the Evening Standard’s ‘1000 Most Influential People of 2008’.

     

    Amanda’s latest venture is a cookery school, Cactus Kitchens, which she has created in partnership with Michel Roux Jr, in state-of-the-art bespoke kitchens housed in the eaves of the chapel above the Saturday Kitchen set. Rather than courses, the school offers a programme of exclusive ‘Experiences’, where participants get to cook in a beautiful, convivial and intimate environment with well-known TV chefs, and also learn about wine under the guidance of some of TV’s top wine experts.

     

    Before founding Cactus, Amanda worked for most of the major ITV companies, the BBC, and American channel VH1 - producing, directing, and creating formats. She has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Birmingham University. She has been a Trustee of the children’s charity Kidscape for 20 years, sat on the UK Advisory Board for the charity Room To Read, is an Ambassador for Wellbeing of Women (WOW) and also for The National Literacy Trust. She lives close to Cactus Studios, with her husband, two young sons, dog and two cats. Amanda also has a much-loved house in Italy, where she spends as much time as possible with her family, indulging her passions for cooking, eating, and entertaining.

    SIMON ROSS - JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR

    Simon Ross is Co-Founder and CEO of Cactus TV, which he founded with his wife Amanda in 1994.  

    ANGELA PIERCE - HEAD OF PRODUCTION

    Angela joined Cactus in March 2018. Enjoying the endless variety and vitality of production, Angela’s experience has covered a wide range of projects, from formatted factual series, reality, shiny floor shows, observational and drama documentaries to current affairs. Working previously within the independent sector as well as for large public and commercial broadcasters based in the UK and overseas, Angela currently works across all of the Cactus output.  

    DAVE SKINNER - HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT

    A former stand-up comedian and comedy writer/actor, Dave’s TV career has seen him working behind - and occasionally in front of - the camera, alongside the likes of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Vic & Bob, Armando Lannucci, and Barry Humphries. As well as heading-up the Development Team, Dave is also a voiceover artist.​

    CHARLOTTE COLLINS - HEAD OF ENTERTAINMENT & SERIES PRODUCER

    Charlotte joined Cactus TV in January 2002, and after working in a Day Team on Richard & Judy she moved across to the Entertainment Team, becoming Head of Entertainment in January 2009. As well as booking the celebrities across all of Cactus TV’s programmes, Charlotte also produces Saturday Kitchen Live, Weekend and has also produced the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, and The National Book Awards.

    JO BIRKINSHAW - HEAD OF FINANCE

    Jo has been with Cactus since 2001. She’s overseen finances through three group ownerships and two relocations.

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