Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE DL
Floella left school at 16 with the aim of becoming Britain's first ever black woman bank manager but changed direction and became an actress, presenter, writer, award winning independent producer, politician and an active advocate for the wellbeing, care and education of children throughout the world.
This year she celebrates 50 years in show business and has appeared on stage, film and television, working with some Britain’s top drama directors. She is best known for her in the iconic children’s programmes Playschool and Playaway.
She has written over 30 books and her latest picture book edition of Coming to England is now a number one best seller.
Her creative work has been recognised with a BAFTA and the JM Barrie Award for her lasting legacy to children’s creative arts.
From 2006 to 2016 she was Chancellor of the University of Exeter and in 2010 she entered the House of Lords where speaks on children's, diversity and media issues.
She chairs the committee, set up to commission a lasting monument to the Windrush Generation in central London.
In 2019 she was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Women in Film & Television and in 2020 was made a Dame of the British Empire.