Floella Benjamin




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Floella Benjamin was born in Trinidad in 1949 and came to the UK in 1960. Her first job was in a bank and for a time she harboured an ambition to be Britain's first black female bank manager but showbiz was calling. She started out in touring stage musicals and went on to present the BBC's Playschool and "Play Away" for 14 years, as well as co-hosting the madcap mid-80's kids' sketch show "Fast Forward". More recently, she's kept busy with charity work, including three years as chairman of BAFTA, and runs a TV production company which specialises in documentaries and cookery shows. She was also Chancellor of Exeter University from 2006 to 2016, and was appointed to the House of Lords in June 2010.


Floella produced an excellent book entitled "Coming To England" and, through the aforementioned production company, a 3-part spinoff children's drama series of the same name, which was first shown as a BBC Schools programme in 2003, and in which she herself had a cameo role. "Coming To England" focussed on her original childhood in Trinidad, on the terrible racism that she and her family suffered when they came to England in the early 1960's and on how these traumatic experiences made her all the more determined to fight against prejudice and to succeed in all she wanted to do - which of course she certainly did!

Web links

Official website

Wikipedia entry

Internet Movie Database entry


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