Ruth Caleb

Last Update: 03 August 1998

As Head of BBC Wales Drama, Ruth Caleb was the first ever female Head of Drama in the BBC (1992 - 1995). In May 1996, she was appointed Acting Head of Drama Group, BBC TV and since then has returned to producing by taking on the role of Executive Producer/Producer in BBC TV Drama Group.

Caleb was educated in Newcastle on Tyne and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school. She worked as an actress between 1962-1965 but decided she wanted to direct rather than act. On an impulse she wrote to the BBC in 1965, hit lucky, and was offered a job as a relief Assistant Floor Manager.

This was followed by a period as the Production Manager on many programmes including, Softly Softly and Troubleshooters; as Director on Angels; and Associate Producer on Marie Curie, Oppenheimer and Colditz.

She became a BBC Television Producer in 1979 and in the period after that her list of credits lengthens impressively. In 1985, there was Ms Rhymney Valley, directed by Karl Francis, a documentary drama about the role played by women during the miners' strike. This won a Celtic Film Festival Award a few years later.

Also, in 1985, she produced The Burston Rebellion, written by Elaine Morgan. This won two awards: the Reims Critics Award and the Samuel G. Engel Award. Her production Sweet As You Are, transmitted in 1988, won a total of 5 awards. Also transmitted in 1988, was her much acclaimed Stanley - about the artist Stanley Spencer. This, too, was scripted by Elaine Morgan.

In 1989, Caleb was appointed Executive Producer BBC Wales Drama. In the same year, she was Producer of 1996, another Karl Francis-directed BBC Wales production for the network. Other BBC Wales productions, for which she has been responsible include Morphine and Dolly Mixtures; Filipina Dream Girls; Lynda La Plante's Civvies; Losing Track with Alan Bates; Friday on My Mind; and Lucy Gannon's Testimony of a Child and Keeping Tom Nice.

These were followed by Selected Exits which starred Anthony Hopkins and was the winner of the 1994 RTS Regional Drama Award; The Cormorant with Ralph Fiennes; Tender Loving Care with Dawn French; Thicker than Water with Jonathan Pryce and Theresa Russell; and The Healer with Paul Rhys - winner of the Welsh Bafta. In 1995, Ruth produced Streetlife - written and directed by Karl Francis.
During her period as Head of Drama, BBC Wales, Ruth continued producing for London and her work included The Lost Language of Cranes; the highly acclaimed Genghis Cohn (an Ace Award winner); Pat and Margaret (a Nymphe d'Or winner) with Victoria Wood and Julie Walters which received the highest viewing figures ever for a BBC Screen One; and the BBC Film Stonewall, which was directed by Nigel Finch.

Ruth has recently produced Trip Trap, written by Lucy Gannon and starring Kevin Whately and Stella Gonet and Big Cat by Lucy Gannon starring David Morrissey, Amanda Root and Gillian Taylforth, which is due to be transmitted later in the year. She has also produced Drovers' Gold, a 6 part drama series, The Theory of Flight which is currently awaiting theatric release and Bravo Two Zero. As an Executive producer her credits include The Old Devils, Sex and Chocolate starring Dawn French and Respectable Trade.

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