Anne Wood founded Ragdoll Productions, whose work is loved by children around the world, in 1984 and since then Ragdoll has produced more than 1,500 programmes aimed at the youngest viewers and won the BAFTA CHILDREN’S AWARD for Independent Production Company 2008.
Anne Wood was born in County Durham and qualified as a secondary school teacher. One of her early missions was to encourage her pupils to read and she became an early pioneer of a children’s paperback book club scheme for schools set up by Scholastic Publications. In 1965 Anne founded a quarterly magazine, Books for Your Children, and in 1969 she set up the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. That same year, Anne was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Award for her distinguished contribution to the promotion of children’s books and became a sort-after consultant embracing book publishing, radio and television.
Yorkshire Television contracted Anne to produce The Book Tower, a series aimed to stimulate children’s interests in books, which was awarded a Children’s BAFTA and the prestigious international children’s television award, the Prix Jeunesse.
After adapting Jean Kenward’s Ragdolly Anna for television and producing an English version of the Moomins for ITV, Anne was invited to create a children’s department for the commercial newcomer, TV-AM in 1981, from where she commissioned the anarchical character, Roland Rat. With the demise of TV-AM, Anne took the leap into independent production and in 1984 set up Ragdoll Productions.
Ragdoll produced series for children can be seen in more than 120 countries and territories around the world. Its children’s programming has achieved international recognition and includes the phenomenally successful, BAFTA winning Teletubbies; double BAFTA winning In the Night Garden; superhero Brum; mischievous ragdolls Rosie and Jim; the adventures of Tots TV; the magical Boohbah; the bubbly Blips; BadJelly the Witch, the innovative Tronji; BAFTA winning Dipdap, whimsical The Adventures of Abney & Teal, the inquisitive and enthusiastic Twirlywoos and internationally acclaimed Open a Door and What Makes Me Happy.
With award-winning programmes to her credit, Anne was made a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and won The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award in 1998. Two years later in 2000, she received a Special BAFTA for her outstanding contribution to children’s television and received her CBE for services to Children’s Broadcasting. In 2003, she was awarded The Olswang Business Award from Women in Film and Television; in March 2007, she received the Harvey Lee Award for her outstanding contribution to broadcasting from the Broadcasting Press Guild and in 2010 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Mother & Baby magazine.
Anne was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Birmingham in 2013 and from the University of Sheffield in 2015. She also received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Warwick in January 2017.