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Amanda Ross was recently rated as the most influential person in British publishing. As the creator of the Richard and Judy Book Club, Ross is charged with choosing ten books each year for discussion.
Joint managing director of Cactus TV (the company that makes Richard & Judy), Ross was the brains behind the idea for the book club. She noted "if a book was on the show, it would always go straight into the charts". Following the success of Oprah's Book Club in the US, Ross approached the British book awards about televising them.
Books featured on the show benefit from a large improvement in sales, notably the viewer's choice for the first year (2004) of the feature has now sold over a million copies. This years viewer's choice, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, has been in bestseller lists for months.
Ross maintains that the choices for the book club are made independent of any publishing houses, and that she receives nothing by way of 'incentive' to pick a particular book. Approximately 650 books are submitted in the hope of selection each year.
In October 2005, Ross gained notoriety on the internet when a leaked email to her staff members was circulated on the web.
Prior to producing Richard & Judy, Ross devised the daytime game shows Upshot, X, Y, Z and Intuition, the latter of which she also hosted.