Our People

Anne Wood CBE (Founder)

Anne Wood is the Founder/Creative Director of Ragdoll Productions Ltd, the Television Production Company she formed in 1984. 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 she received a Special BAFTA for her outstanding contribution to Children’s Television and was awarded her CBE for services to Children’s Broadcasting. In 2003, Anne received The Olswang Business Award from Women in Film and Television, and in March 2007 the Harvey Lee Award from the Broadcasting Press Guild for her outstanding contribution to broadcasting. In 2010 Anne received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mother and Baby magazine. She has been awarded Honorary Doctorate of Letters degrees from the University of Birmingham (2013), University of Sheffield (2015), and University of Warwick (2016).

Régis Cochefert (Trustee)

Régis is Director, Grants and Programmes, at the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK. He was initially appointed Arts Programme Manager 2005 and also managed the Education and Learning programme. Régis was previously Head of External Relations and then Opera General Administrator at Aldeburgh Productions (now called Snape Maltings). Prior to this, he co-founded the French Theatre Season (1995-97). Régis chairs Ministry of Stories and is a council member of the London Sinfonietta. He previously chaired Tamasha Theatre Company and has also been a trustee of the Young Vic Theatre and King’s Place Music Foundation. Régis is a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lyon.

Kirsten Gibbs (Grants Administrator)

Kirsten is the Ragdoll Foundation’s Grants Administrator and first point of contact for applicants to the Open Grants Scheme. Kirsten’s background is in the arts and education. She trained as a primary school teacher, and set up the learning and outreach programmes at the New Victoria Theatre in North Staffordshire and at Milton Keynes Gallery. Kirsten was Deputy Director of Engage, and also managed the Strategic Commissioning programme for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, as well as having a wide variety of freelance experience in the arts and cultural sectors.

Mark Hollingsworth (Treasurer)

Mark was a partner in a City accountancy practice and advised on the formation of Ragdoll Limited in 1985. During the next few years, he spent an increasing amount of time on Ragdoll affairs and in 1996, after negotiating the terms of the BBC commission of Teletubbies, he joined the company as Commercial Director. Appointed Chief Executive Officer in July 2008, Mark oversaw the development of the organisation and led the implementation of the company’s business strategy. He was also CEO of Ragdoll Worldwide Limited, the joint venture between Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide and directed the sale of Ragdoll Worldwide to DHX Media.

Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford is the author of five highly-praised books of non-fiction, most frequently described by reviewers as either ‘bizarre’ or ‘brilliant’, and usually as both. He has been longlisted or shortlisted for prizes in science writing, historical writing, political writing, theological writing, and writing ‘evoking the spirit of place’. In 2007 Francis was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His novel, Golden Hill, won the Costa Book Award for a first novel in 2017, and also the Ondaatje Prize. His memoir of childhood reading, The Child That Books Built, is often cited in discussions about literacy strategies and cultural provision for children.

Carole Thomson (Trustee)

Carole worked with Anne Wood initially on “Books For Your Children” and they continued working together from the setting up of Ragdoll in 1984, with Carole being involved in most aspects of the company, but still retaining a strong interest in children’s books. Following her retirement from Ragdoll, Carole accepted the role of Trustee of the Ragdoll Foundation, continuing her involvement with the Jean Russell Gift.

Peter Thornton (Trustee)

Peter is a highly respected senior arts and cultural professional with over 25 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. Originally trained as secondary school teacher, Peter has lectured in Higher Education, and still delivers cultural management training courses in the UK and Internationally. Peter worked for many years within the arts funding system and was an Executive Director for Arts Council England. He now works as a freelance project manager and consultant.

Katherine Wood (Chair)

Katherine has worked in the UK Arts Sector for over 25 years. She was founder Director of firstsite (1994-2012), the contemporary visual arts organisation in Colchester, which successfully launched its new home, designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects in 2011. She currently works freelance nationwide in the creative sector on a wide range of Gallery, Museum, Artist and Creative Industry projects. She is an RSA Fellow and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by University of Essex and Colchester School of Art & Design in 2012.