Growing up in a suburban Jewish ghetto of Manchester, England, Ric Cantor was offered three choices for a career: he could be a doctor, a lawyer, or he could go into his father’s ladies-wear business selling Bar Mitzvah outfits to proud mothers.

He decided, instead, to go to India to think about it. On the way back, he found himself living in a van selling soft toys for the Israeli mafia on the streets of Japan. He was good at selling.

He made it home and got a job for a company that packaged TV for in-flight entertainment specializing in airlines of oppressive regimes. Once you have re-edited British sit-coms for the Saudi-Arabian business-flyer, you can pretty much do anything. Promos for the airline’s movie channels led to him getting his first ‘proper’ job at the BBC making on-air show promos. He was good at promos.

He spent the next five years writing, producing, and directing award-winning work; then, a feature, a couple of seasons of a cult sketch show, Man Stroke Woman – with Nick Frost – and a writing credit on Da Ali G Show, before being snapped up by the advertising industry. He was good at ads. He still is. His win at Cannes this year proves as much. Ric took home a Gold Lion for his work with the New Zealand Transport Agency.

He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife & kids and is just as uncool as he was when he lived in Manchester.