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CHANTAL RICKARDS OBE

Chantal Rickards OBE is a British television and film professional, a native of London, UK and was the CEO of BAFTA Los Angeles – The British Academy of Film and Television – from 2015 to 2019.

In 2015 Chantal was appointed the first Chief Executive Officer of BAFTA Los Angeles. Chantal looked after the members based in the USA and made it her duty at BAFTA to encourage trade between the UK and US in the creative sectors. While at BAFTA LA she conceived the formation of BAFTA North America and the consolidation of one global BAFTA brand to allow it to grow its international status and worldwide educational work.  Her work was recognized by Her Majesty the Queen in 2020 when she was awarded an OBE for her services to the industry and to philanthropy.

The stature of BAFTA LA rose markedly under Chantal’s direction; her last job in the role was to produce her fifth prestigious BAFTA Britannia Awards in October 2019 which garnered vast publicity with over 3 billion digital impressions in one week alone. The acceptance speech she directed and produced with Jane Fonda, receiving the Stanley Kubrick BAFTA Britannia Award in handcuffs outside the Capitol Building in Washington DC, was described by Deadline as the ‘best awards acceptance speech ever made’ and BAFTA benefited enormously from this PR coup.

Currently running a stimulating portfolio of roles,  Chantal sits on the Board of Directors of The Dot Group, a global student housing business, and is on the Advisory Board of the UK’s National Youth Theatre; she continues to be a voting BAFTA member and raises money for them through events and donations; she also reviews films and television programmes for MRS Radio Station once a week under the moniker the ‘Screen Queen’.  Other recent project work includes creating a new business TV format,  developing an 8 part true-life drama series about a prominent American family with a Hollywood producer, consulting on numerous film projects, from funding to development, in both the UK and the USA, and continuing to be the format consultant for Through the Keyhole, one of British TV’s most successful factual entertainment shows ever. Chantal recently supported Ryff, a US based dynamic product placement company, who have just launched their Spheera platform in the UK.

Further background: Chantal Rickards has had a successful career in the British creative and media sector since the 1980s. She’s produced and directed over 1,000 television programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel Four, Sky and Channel Five since leaving University College, London. She trained at ITV, the largest commercial channel in the UK, rising from a low-level television researcher to a Director and Executive Producer of live and recorded Factual Entertainment programmes including Masterchef, one of the UK’s most prominent food shows which has travelled globally, Through the Keyhole, which ran for 32 years on British television, the French format game show, Countdown, still the longest running game show on UK television, City Hospital, a live daily show from one of the UK’s largest public hospitals, Parkinson, a leading chat show and This Morning, ITV’s live mid-morning show.

In 1999 she became the Channel Director of the Carlton Food Network which later became the Taste Channel. While there she commissioned one thousand hours of original television for the UK domestic channel which was also broadcast internationally.  She joined the BBC in 2000 where she commissioned and executive produced sixteen series annually for their lifestyle output; this content was broadcast on UKTV and internationally.

After five years at the BBC, she joined WPP’s GroupM which is the leading global media investment management company, which represented 40% of all global advertising spend.  Through GroupM, Chantal created long and short form content over a seven-year period that subtly melded popular programming with advertising messaging and propelled brands from the bland to the outstanding. She has vast experience in brand strategy and recently rolled out a property brand into the USA.

Chantal was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by University College,  London in 2021. In the same year she was the Chair of the inaugural Hurlingham Club Arts Festival, a private members’ club in West London.