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’.
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 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.
JO BIRKINSHAW - HEAD OF FINANCE
Jo has been with Cactus since 2001. She’s overseen finances through three group ownerships and two relocations.
POLLYANNE CONWAY - HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT & SERIES PRODUCER (BETWEEN THE COVERS)
JAMES BEDWELL - SENIOR PRODUCER (SATURDAY KITCHEN)
DAVID MAGUIRE - SERIES PRODUCER (ITV SHOWS)
COLETTE TALBOT - PRODUCTION MANAGER (ITV SHOWS)
HANNAH WILLCOCK - EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, JUNIOR RESEARCHER AND RECEPTIONIST
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