Jude Kelly

Artistic director, Southbank Centre

As artistic director of Southbank Centre – Britain’s largest cultural institution – since 2006, Jude Kelly is a significant figure in the arts. She grew up in Liverpool, one of four daughters, and studied drama at Birmingham University. At 22 she became artistic director of Solent People’s Theatre in Portsmouth.

In 1981 she moved to Battersea Arts Centre, then in its infancy; and in 1990 she became founding director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, where she spent 12 years. In 1997 she was awarded an OBE, and in 2015 she was made a CBE for services to the Arts. She created the annual WOW – Women of the World Festival – which takes place at Southbank, in other parts of the UK and countries all over the world.