First produced in 2004 and then annually until 2019. A star-studded celebration of the best in popular writing, from fiction to non-fiction, and from new writers to the Award for Outstanding Achievement. New launch dates will be announced soon...
Aled Jones hosted this relaxed, easygoing and intimate chat show that offered entertaining celebrity guests and unique stripped-back musical performances.
JOHN TORODE'S MALAYSIAN ADVENTURE
GOOD FOOD - 2016
In this 10-part brand-funded series, John Torode explores the diverse and exciting food culture of Malaysia, and shows how to make delicious Malaysian dishes here in the UK.
A TASTE OF BRITAIN
BBC ONE - 2014
In this 20-part series for BBC One, Janet Street- Porter and Brain Turner team up and take us on a unique tour of the UK. He does the cooking, she does the culture - as this unlikely double-act celebrate the beauty of Britain's landscape, its food, history and architecture.
BBC - 2014
Tom Kerridge hosts this seasonal companion show to Saturday Kitchen - a celebration of spring cooking.
BBC - 2013-2014
James Martin hosts two series of this festive seasonal spin-off from Saturday Kitchen. Each day, James is joined by one of the stars of BBC One's Christmas TV schedule, as well as an A-list guest chef, and the legendary Brian Turner.
THE CRIME THRILLER AWARDS
ITV3 - 2008-2014
Sponsored by Specsavers from 2009 onwards, the annual Crime Thriller Awards was an hour-long TV event created by Cactus, and first broadcast on ITV3 in 2008, hosted by Alan Davies. Filmed at the Grosvenor House Hotel, the star-studded awards ceremony celebrates the best in crime thriller films, TV shows and books. Since 2012, Bradley Walsh has been master of ceremonies for a glittering evening that features famous faces including Idris Elba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emilia Fox, Martin Freeman, and Rupert Penry-Jones.
ITV3 - 2012
This entertaining 6-part documentary series, presented by Bradley Walsh, features classic clips and exclusive new interviews with stars of the crime thriller genre. Plus, it profiles the actors and writers nominated for prizes at The Crime Thriller Awards.
CHANNEL 4 - 2011
Fern Britton hosts this entertaining 20-part teatime chat show for Channel 4, in which she chats to much-loved celebrity guests and remarkable real people with extraordinary stories to tell.
THE A to Z OF CRIME
This entertaining 6-part documentary series, narrated by Marcus Brigstocke, features classic clips and exclusive new interviews with stars of the crime thriller genre. Plus, it profiles the actors and writers nominated for prizes at The Crime Thriller Awards.
THE TV BOOK CLUB
CHANNEL 4 & MORE4 - 2010, 2011 & 2012
With a 10-part 'Spring' and 8-part 'Summer' campaign airing each year on Channel 4 and More4, The TV Book Club is a studio-based show, filmed at Cactus, which offers viewers the chance to celebrate Britain's best new writing. Each episode features a celebrity guest author who joins a group of regular readers, including Caroline Quentin, Jo Brand, Dave Spikey, Laila Rouass, Gok Wan, Stephen Tompkinson, Meera Syal and Ade Edmondson. The series spanned 5 seasons.
THE BIG BOOK BABBLE
Filmed on the stage of a London theatre, in front of an audience of schoolchildren, each lively, entertaining show features in-depth chats and Q&A with some of the UK's best-loved children's authors and illustrators - including Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Charlie Higson and Anthony Horowitz.
THE MUNCH BOX
Layla Anna-Lee, Ben Ebbrell & Joe Hurd presented two series of this fun, lively children's cookery show which features two teams of boys v. girls going head-to-head in fast-paced cooking challenges, overseen by a professional guest chef.
BOOKED: STARS OF THE GALAXY NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
CHANNEL 4 - 2011
This 6-part series features in-depth interviews with some of the celebrity writers nominated for a National Book Award: Richard Bacon talks to Alan Sugar, Sue Perkins interviews Dawn French, Sandi Toksvig chats to Paul O’Grady, Joan Bakewell turns the tables on Michael Parkinson, and John Sargeant gets unique access to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
THE PEOPLE’S DETECTIVE
ITV 3 - AUTUMN 2010
This entertaining 6-part documentary series, narrated by comedian Marcus Brigstocke features classic clips and exclusive new interviews as it profiles TV’s best-loved detectives - in the search for ‘The People’s Detective’.
RACHEL ALLEN: DINNER PARTIES
UKTV: GOOD FOOD & RTE – 2010
In this 10-part series, Rachel’s on a mission to show you how to throw the perfect dinner party.
CELEBRITY PRESSURE COOKER
ITV - 2010
Lorraine Kelly hosts this 10-part studio show, in which 3 celebrities battle it out to impress a top guest chef. It’s fast, frenetic foodie fun – and the pressure is most definitely on.
THE HAIRY BIKERS’ FOOD TOUR OF BRITAIN
BBC2 & BBC1 – 2010
In this 30-part BBC Daytime series, Dave and Si head off on a culinary road-trip that takes them the length and breadth of the UK. Together, the boys seek out ‘the dish of the county’, meet local food producers, and cook against a talented new chef from the region.
RACHEL ALLEN: HOME COOKING
UKTV: GOOD FOOD & RTE – AUTUMN 2009
In this 10-part series, Rachel Allen shows how easy it is to feed your family great food every day – and she visits some of Britain’s most talented chefs in their homes, to sample the dishes they love to cook for their families.
THE CRIME THRILLER SEASON: PROFILING
ITV3 – AUTUMN 2009
This fascinating 6-part documentary series profiles some of the world’s best-selling and most popular crime thriller writers – the Kings & Queens of crime fiction.
A FAREWELL TO FLOYD
BBC2 – AUTUMN 2009
This documentary paid a fond farewell to the unforgettable Keith Floyd, in the wake of his death at the age of 66. Packed with classic archive clips, the film traces Floyd’s career, and features the recollections of famous friends and colleagues – including Rick Stein, Marco Pierre White and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
RACHEL ALLEN: BAKE!
UKTV: GOOD FOOD & RTE – AUTUMN 2008
From simple scones to impressive ‘occasion cakes’, Irish cook Rachel Allen dons her pinny and showcases some of her favourite bakes in this mouthwatering 15-part series.
THE CRIME THRILLER SEASON: PROFILING
ITV3 – AUTUMN 2008
This 6-part documentary series profiles some of the biggest names in crime thriller fiction – including P.D.James, Ruth Rendell and Colin Dexter – who would go on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at The Crime Thriller Awards 2008.
RICHARD & JUDY
CHANNEL 4 – FROM 2001-2008, THEN UKTV’S WATCH IN 2009
In May 2001, Cactus TV rocked the industry by directly signing Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan as part of an in initial two-year production deal with Channel 4 – which remains one of the biggest single commissions by C4 to an independent production company.
Over the next 7 years, Richard & Judy broadcast live to the nation each weekday afternoon – creating the now much fought-over ‘5 o’clock slot’, and regularly drawing audiences of over 2 million viewers. The show generated countless stories in the media, enjoyed visits from an incredible array of Hollywood stars, and was nominated for both a Royal Television Society Award and an Indie Award.
Thanks to its ‘Book Club’ strand – devised by Amanda Ross – it also transformed the profiles and fortunes of a number of popular authors, making many of them household names and millionaires. The Book Club also helped give birth to The National Book Awards, a TV event hosted by Richard & Judy and sponsored by Galaxy, which was broadcast annually on C4 from 2006-2008, and on UKTV’s entertainment channel ‘Watch’ in 2009. In October 2008, Richard & Judy left C4, and moved to Watch, where the show continued to draw A-list Hollywood stars right up until its final broadcast on 1st July 2009.
SIR CLIFF RICHARDS: THE HITS I MISSED
ITV – 2002
Sir Cliff Richard celebrates 40 years at the top of the business by performing a series of songs that were primarily hits for other performers. Alongside him are performances by Steps and Atomic Kitten.
SONGS OF BOND
ITV - 2002
Another music spectactular for ITV, Songs of Bond starred Russell Watson, Lulu and a host of stars, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
THE BRITISH SOAP AWARDS
ITV1 - 1999 to 2002
An annual awards ceremony honouring the best moments in British soap operas, created and produced by Cactus between 1999 and 2002. The British Soap Awards was the highest rated entertainment show of 2001 on any TV channel, with a massive 53% share.
MORE ARCHIVED PRODUCTIONS
Since it was founded by Amanda & Simon, Cactus has enjoyed success producing a wide range of entertaining and popular programming across a huge variety of genres – everything from low-budget channel ‘interstitials’, to high-volume studio-based quizzes, to large-scale TV events and musical spectaculars…
Cactus quiz and game shows include Incognito (BBC1 – 2 series, 87 shows in total), King of the Castle (ITV – 19 shows), It’s Anybody’s Guess (ITV - 40 shows), Sports Anorak of the Year (UK Gold - 2 series, 64 shows), Intuition (ITV), Upshot (Anglia) and Morphit (BBC1).
For the youth market, Cactus produced the funky current affairs discussion show Mad For It, which was nominated for 3 RTS Awards, and Off The Wall (Anglia). Other youth series included Pop-elganger (UK PLAY), For Your Ears Only, (UK PLAY) and The TV Set (LWT).
Comedy features included In Search of Fame (BBC1), a consumer problem-solving series How To Deal With… (BBC1), and an infotainment graphic animation series - The Incredible Journey (BBC1). As well as making Lifestyle strands for BBC Daytime, Cactus produced two travel series, The Real America (BBC1) and Britain Into Europe (BBC1).
In 1999, The ITV Network Centre asked Cactus to take over the production of the prime-time charity TV event Men For Sale from Action Time, in order to re-format the show and take it upmarket. It was considered a major success, and the participation of stars including Boyzone, Michael Bolton, and the legendary Jean Claude van Damme helped the show raise over £325,000 for charity – almost five times the sum raised in the previous year.
Cactus-produced chat shows include The Last Resort Revisited (Channel 4) with Jonathan Ross, and Rowland Rivron Bites The Bullet (UK Gold).Cactus also produced a controversial debate show, The Spirit of Diana: The Debate for Living TV – which scored double the channel’s normal ratings for its slot.
In 2005, Cactus made a 10-part wine series for More4 as a spin-off from the Richard & Judy Wine Club. The company’s reputation for delivering high quality programmes with low budgets helped it win long-running contracts with Film Four and Channel 4 for interstitial programming – and FourSite, our fact-filled pop-ups for film buffs, aired on Channel 4 for over two years.