Cavendish studied modern history at Oxford University before joining London advertising agency Boase Massimi Pollitt.
He was made account director and oversaw the marketing and advertising for the launch of Britain’s first new television channel for 25 years, Channel Four.
On joining the feature film industry, he produced his first movie in 1987, “December Bride”, winner of 21 international awards, including a Special Jury Prize at the European Film Awards. A succession of successful films followed, including “A Man Of No Importance”, “Nothing Personal”, “Ordinary Decent Criminal” and “Gangster No.1”, establishing him as one of Europe’s most successful producers.
“Croupier”, starring Clive Owen, became the most successful independent film release of the year in the United States, as well as appearing in every US publications’ Top Ten list. “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, produced in association with Working Title, starred Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, and grossed $290 million worldwide. It gathered an array of international awards, five Golden Globe nominations and an Oscar nomination. “Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason” grossed $280 million worldwide on its release in 2005.
Cavendish has also produced an array of award-winning television drama. “Dirty Tricks”: a two part series for ITV, won an International Emmy. “The Hanging Gale”: a BBC mini-series set at the time of the Irish famine, was nominated for five British Academy awards and won the FIPA awards for Best Series and Best Actor. “In The Border Country” won Best Television Film at both the Chicago and Banff Television Festivals.
“Bernard and Doris”, starring Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes, was made for HBO and was nominated for eleven Emmys and 3 Golden Globes. His most recent films include “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”, starring Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen and Geoffrey Rush, and “All Good Children”, directed by Alicia Duffy and recently selected for Director’s Fortnight in the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.