Upfront, sassy and with a reputation for posing questions no one else would think to ask, Ruby Wax is a stand-up comedian, writer and mental health campaigner who has become one of the best known and popular faces on television.
After arriving in Britain from America in 1977 and training as an actress, Ruby began her career acting along side the likes of Helen Mirren with the Royal Shakespeare Company before developing her own brand of highly amusing attitude TV. With her outrageous shows — Ruby (1997-2002), The Ruby Wax Show (2002) and Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions (2012) — she broke all the rules and conventions and created some of television's most memorable moments.
In her own unique and inimitable style Ruby has interviewed Imelda Marcos, Madonna and Liza Minnelli, irritated Donald Trump and been intimate with Pamela Anderson. Her TV shows get under the skin of celebrity and seek out the wackier side of life. In addition to performing and presenting, Ruby has contributed, written and edited numerous scripts for TV shows such as French and Saunders, Happy Families and Absolutely Fabulous. She has also performed stand-up comedy and toured extensively around the globe.
However, Ruby’s career has since taken a different path. No longer defined by brash stand-up comedy and TV interviews with celebrities, she has turned attention to her lifelong fascination with psychology and how the brain works, devoting her time to public speaking about mental health, mindfulness and their impact on everyday living.
In 2013, Ruby Wax obtained a Masters degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from the University of Oxford to increase her understanding of the brain and the science behind mental health issues. She became a patron for the British Neuroscience Association and brought mental health issues to the foreground in Parliament through work at the Home Office and speaking at Downing Street to raise money for neuroscience research. Amongst other charity work, Ruby became an ambassador for Mind and SANE, has held open sessions for sufferers and set up dedicated social networking communities for mental health.
Ruby performed her first show, ‘Losing It’, based on her experiences of clinical depression, in a number of institutions and charities, and has become a leading speaker on mental issues, including appearances at TEDGlobal 2012, various UK National Health Trusts, the Royal College of Nursing, British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mindfulness in the Workplace, Women of the World Festival UK and Comic Relief. In 2015 she was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by HM The Queen, for her services to mental health.
Ruby Wax is amusing, engaging and open; her brash style of television has been described as refreshing, charming, endearing and very funny. Often provocative and sometimes controversial, Ruby has become one of the most recognised personalities on television.
Ruby Wax is in demand not only for after dinner speaking and entertainment, but also chairing conferences and presenting in-depth keynote speeches, where a sharp brain, wittiness and humour is of essence. She regularly speaks of her keenness to normalise mental health by talking openly about it.
Ruby describes her own personal experience of trying to keep anxieties under control, but finding out she simply couldn’t cope after becoming famous. Her show Sane New World revolves around the fact that one in four people suffer a mental health problem at some time in their lives.
Sane New World - Mindfulness Keynote Speech
500 years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we're still swimming with the pond scum. If we don't advance our more human qualities then we're doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an 'Apple' where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness.
Based on her studies of mindfulness based cognitive therapy with Mark Williams at Oxford University, Ruby Wax is outrageously witty, smart and accessible, and shows ordinary people how (and why) to change for good.
Ruby Wax has always been a star in my firmament, and although she can make your ribs ache with laughter she can also wrench your head round to see the darkness in the world, and how to deal with it. No-one deserves to be recognised more. I hope she will have a very large copy of the medal made, and will wear it on her shoulder like a parrot. I adore her.
It was an absolute privilege to have Ruby Wax here and I know that staff took a lot from it
We thought you were brilliant. You were lovely to work with and the audience was captivated. The reason they had you on last was to keep the delegates at the event and the room was bursting to the seams. You did a fantastic job and had everyone in the room joining in the mind exercises.
Ruby Wax offered us not just a funny, moving and thoughtful performance, but was willing to share what are clearly tough memories and allow us to enter into her thinking about issues that are absolutely pertinent to the daily working lives of Headteachers. She gave us new ideas, bold and startling insights and above all, hope - no mean feat for an after dinner speech.
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