Speaker Information

Annie Wallace

Annie Wallace

Annie Wallace

Annie grew up in Aberdeen, where she received her initial training at primary and secondary school, appearing in many productions such as The Insect PlayA Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Front Page. She won a place at the National Youth Theatre in 1980 and was set to progress to drama school but financial constraints thwarted her ambition. Moving into another field entirely, Annie worked for many years in the computer and audio-visual industries in several Scottish cities.

A chance discussion between some colleagues led to her introduction to Coronation Street in 1998, leading to an 18-month consultative role for the character of Hayley Cropper. This liaison brought her into contact with several of the series’ actors, especially Julie Hesmondhalgh, who, upon learning of her previously stalled acting career, encouraged her to follow her original dream and go to drama school.

Subsequently, Annie relocated to Manchester and successfully won a place at the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre in 2001. During this time she also volunteered as a stage manager for the city’s Mardi Gras/Pride festivals for several years, including the writing and direction of the Candlelit Vigil in 2002. After graduating in 2004, she appeared in a comedy premiere “FunkFace” at The Comedy Store in Manchester, and formed a theatre company called ‘FirstNotLast’.

For several years, she performed regularly in fringe and repertory theatre productions such as Wyrd Sisters, An Ideal Husband, Stags and Hens, Withnail and I and many community pantomimes. She also diversified into sound designing and recording, lighting design, and video animation for the theatre.

She had her first television break on the Channel 4 series Shameless in 2011, leading to an increased profile and more opportunities, such as some extensive voiceover work for a travel company and some comedy podcasts, and was a finalist in the auditions for a BBC’s Trans Comedy Award pilot.


Annie is currently playing Sally St. Claire on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks,  as the headmistress of Hollyoaks High School, and John Paul McQueen’s father. She was the first ever transgender person cast to play a regular transgender character in a leading UK soap opera, and as such is the most prolific trans actress in UK television history.

Since starting at Hollyoaks in 2015, she has been listed in the prestigious Rainbow ListPride Power ListDiva Power List, and the USA OUT100, as one of the country’s most influential LGBT people.

In 2016, she won the ‘Celebrity of the Year‘ award at the National Diversity Awards, and was runner-up at the Icon Awards as ‘Cultural Icon of the Year‘. The entertainment website Digitalspy also nominated her as ‘Biggest Unsung Hero‘ in their annual Soap Awards.

Topping off an incredible year, Annie also became the first ever transgender actress to be nominated for a BAFTA award, as Best Actress – Television‘ in the Scottish BAFTA Awards.

In 2017, she was nominated as ‘LGBT+ Celebrity Rising Star’ in the British LGBT Awards, and was once again included in the Pride Power List, and the DIVA Power List.

Last year, she was nominated in the “Best Soap Actress” category in the annual TRIC Awards, and in May, led the first ever Pride parade in her hometown of Aberdeen, at Grampian Pride. She is also one of the judges at the 2019 Diversity In Media awards .

She  continues to play Sally St. Claire in her ongoing role on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.


Annie has also written and recorded two albums with collaborator John Beresford, as well as writing music for theatre productions, and even a US TV pilot.

She is the patron of the trans youth advisory and counselling charity MermaidsSparkle, the national transgender charity, and is an ambassador for Manchester Pride.

When not working, she has a passion for rock music, classic British television series, camping, gadgets and cider!

Aimee Work

Aimee Work

Aimee Work is Chairperson of the Active Girls Committee Aberdeen, which is in association with Sport Aberdeen. The main aim of the committee is to encourage and increase participation within girls and young women into sport and physical activity. Additionally the Active girls Committee looks to support, guide and motivate young women into a health and fitness lifestyle, educating them on the importance of this. Aimee is an S4 pupil at Hazlehead Academy.  

For many years Aimee has been passionate about encouraging more girls and young women into sport and physical activity, due to the challenging events which began her love of health and fitness. Her devotion towards physical activity led her into becoming part of the committee and so Aimee now volunteers regularly, running her own clubs specifically for girls, in order to improve self-confidence and other social skills. As a committee they focus of the social and mental factors which can be positively impacted due to sport and physical activity.

For Aimee, her goal is to raise awareness of the work that she and others do, so that more and more people are on board with their campaign.

Kate Bryan

Kate Bryan

Kate Bryan is an art historian, curator and arts broadcaster. She is Head of Collections at Soho House, and wrote and presented to Sky Arts television series, ‘Galleries on Demand’.

Kate has also presented and contributed to episodes for BBC2’s Culture Show as well as being a judge on the annual competition programmes, Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year.

Kate is passionate about helping new audiences to come to contemporary art – she believes there is no big mystery behind conceptual art, video art or installation art, and it is accessible to all. She has worked as an art dealer and curator in both Hong Kong and London, and has worked with hundreds of artists from around the world.

She is passionate about bringing art to life for people. As a speaker, she is passionate, immensely knowledgeable and just a little bit different to what people are used to.

Miranda Krestovnikoff

Miranda Krestovnikof

Biologist and trained diver, Miranda is a resident wildlife expert on BBC One’s The One Show, having presented natural history stories, ranging from robotic ants to rare dolphins, from all around the country for the last six years. She is a regular on BBC One’s Inside Out and one of the original members of the Coast team exploring Great Britain’s shoreline from top to toe, revealing fascinating tales of marine life.

As well as natural history Miranda also specialises in history and archaeological programmes including Channel 4 series Wreck Detectives, BBC2 series Hidden Treasure and the UKTV History production Time Trail.

Other recent credits include BBC Two’s Big British Wildlife Revival and guest appearances on Pointless Celebrities, Ready Steady Cook and Celebrity Masterchef. As a lover of classical music and accomplished musician herself, Miranda was chosen to co-present the BBC Proms in 2010.

Miranda is also busy on radio with contributions to BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth, Living World and Tweet of the Day.  She regularly writes articles on tourism and leisure for national newspapers and magazines and is the author of two books, Miranda Krestovnikoff’s Best British Beaches and Scuba Diving.

Miranda enjoys motivating young people to share her love for nature and the environment, visiting schools, universities and clubs. Recently, she hosted the London launch of Love your National Parks.

Miranda is currently President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Patron of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Patron of Alderney Wildlife Trust, Founding Friend of the Canal & River Trust and heavily involved with other charities including The National Trust, The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, The Marine Conservation Society and Sustrans.

(Photo credit: Frances Gard)