Ruby Wax – Keynote Speaker, Guest Speaker and Awards Host.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, Ruby Wax majored in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and then moved to the UK where she studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
In 1977, Ruby Wax later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company working alongside Helen Mirren and Juliet Stevenson.
“I really could never find my niche. I was a terrible actress, I couldn’t sing, I couldn’t do characters, I couldn’t do an English accent and I lived in England, so I was narrowing it down”
Always forthright, brash and loud, conforming to the British stereotype of an American, Ruby Wax cemented this trademark image in 1985 when she starred as loud-mouthed American actress Shelley DuPont in the British sitcom ‘Girls On Top’. According to a BBC ‘Arena’ documentary narrated by Ruby’s ‘Girl’s On Top’ co-star Dawn French, it was Ruby’s role as backstage interviewer at ‘The Secret Policeman’s Ball’ in 1987 that finally launched her into stardom.
Ruby was eventually given her own chat show after drunkenly interviewing Michael Grade (head of Channel 4 at the time) in a tent at the Edinburgh Festival.
A run of successful television shows followed where Ruby she simply met and interviewed people, mostly extraordinary members of the general public. In 1991 Ruby presented ‘The Full Wax’.
Despite her variety of work over the years, Ruby is probably best known for her celebrity interviews in ‘The Full Wax’, ‘Ruby Wax Meets…’ and ‘Ruby’.
In ‘Ruby Wax Meets…’ Ruby abandoned the stereotypical chat show set, and chose to travel around with her celebrity interviewees, following them day-to-day in their home and at work. Ruby interviewed a number of high profile celebrities including OJ Simpson, Jerry Springer, Don King, Pamela Anderson, Tom Hanks, Bill Cosby, The Spice Girls, Goldie Hawn and The Duchess of York, the latter interview receiving over 14 million viewers.
In March 2003, Wax was one of the celebrity contestants on ‘Comic Relief does Fame Academy’, successfully making it to the final, taking runner-up position to Will Mellor.
In 2006, Ruby was a celebrity showjumper in the BBC’s Sport Relief event ‘Only Fools on Horses’, and also presented ‘Cirque de Celebrite’ on Sky One.
Ruby Wax is available for hosting and cabaret, and also has two remarkable business presentations focused on Change and Women in Retail.
Following her hugely successful career with BBC television as an interviewer and comedian, Ruby Wax has now turned her attention to the study of psychotherapy and neuroscience, recently receiving her Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University.
She is the author of the best-selling book ‘Sane New World’. Described as a guide to saner living, Ruby explains how our minds can jeopardize our sanity, and that to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world.
Her show of the same name, helps audiences become the masters, not the slaves of their minds. She also founded Black Dog Tribe, a social networking site providing information and social support for people suffering with mental health issues.
She presented her TedTalk at TedGlobal 2012 “What’s So Funny about Mental Illness?”, and has been awarded an OBE for services to mental health.
Ruby’s Areas of Expertise:
- Change Explained Through Neuroscience.
- Communication, Engagement and Rapport.
- Dealing with Stress in a Work Environment, or How to Survive the 21st Century.
- Humour and Leadership.