Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin

Infobox Person
name = Dr Floella Benjamin

image_size = 250px
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birth_date = birth date and age|1949|09|23
birth_place = Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago
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occupation = actress, author, television presenter, independent producer, company director, Chancellor of the University of Exeter
title = OBE, Hon D.Litt (Exon)
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spouse = Keith Taylor
partner =
children = Aston
Alvina (b.1988)
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website = http://www.floellabenjamin.com/
footnotes =

Floella Benjamin OBE, Hon D.Litt (Exon) (born September 23 1949) is a British actress, author [ [http://www.floellabenjamin.com/about%20me/literaryinformation.html Floella Benjamin, OBE - About Me ] ] , television presenter, businesswoman and Chancellor of the University of Exeter. She is particularly well-known as the energetic presenter of popular children's programmes such as "Play School" and "Play Away". She claims to be the first woman permitted to appear "fully pregnant" on British television. [ [http://www.floellabenjamin.com/about%20me/nostalgia.html Floella Benjamin, OBE - About Me ] ]


Ms Benjamin was born in Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and emigrated to the UK in 1960. Having left school to work in a bank, she studied for A-levels at night school. After a spell as a stage actress in West End musicals, she began presenting children's television programmes in 1976.

Her acting has encompassed stage, screen and television. On stage, she has appeared in "Hair", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Black Mikado", "The husband in law" and pantomime. On screen, she appeared in the 1975 horror film "I don't want to be born" and starred in the 1977 film "Black Joy". On TV, her credits include: "Angels", "Within These Walls", "Crown Court", "The Gentle Touch" and "Dixon of Dock Green". She appeared as Kayreen in the first episode of the Jersey-based detective series "Bergerac" (1981).

She is the chief executive of Floella Benjamin Productions Ltd, which has been making television programmes since 1987.

Her 20th book, an autobiography "Coming To England", was published in 1997 and sold successfully.

She was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2001. At that time she was chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). She has also won a Special Lifetime Achievement award from BAFTA.

She was Chairman of the [http://www.woyla.co.uk/ Women of the Year Lunch] for five years and a Millennium Commissioner. She is President of the Elizabeth ’R’ Commonwealth Broadcasting Fund and a governor of the National Film and Television School.

She was a Governor of Dulwich College, where her mother once worked and her son attended.

In 2006, she became an honorary graduate of the University of Exeter and was awarded the degree of Hon D.Litt (Exon) for her contributions to the life of the United Kingdom. She is styled "Dr" Floella Benjamin by the University on their website [ [http://www.google.ex.ac.uk/search?q=dr+floella&site=default_collection&client=default_frontend&proxystylesheet=default_frontend&output=xml_no_dtd Search Results: dr floella ] ] . She succeeded Lord Alexander of Weedon to become the Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

Her interest in education has also seen her on the '4Rs Commission' [ [http://www.libdems.org.uk/education/issues/ Liberal Democrats : The 4Rs Commission ] ] established by the Liberal Democrats to look into primary education in the UK.

For her charitable work, she is vice-president of NCH Action for Children and Barnardo's, and was included in the NSPCC’s Hall of Fame. She runs regularly in the London Marathon to raise funds for Barnado's and the Sickle Cell Society. She is a Cultural Ambassador for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

In July 2007 she went public with her concerns regarding the low standard of current children's television programming [ [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/26/ntv226.xml Floella raises banner to save children's TV - Telegraph ] ] . She features in the BBCs CBeebies animation 'Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies' [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/03_march/19/cbeebies_mirabelle.shtml BBC - Press Office - CBeebies press pack: Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies ] ] .

Also in 2007, she guest-starred in the "Doctor Who" spin-off "The Sarah Jane Adventures" as Professor Rivers in the story "The Lost Boy".


External links

* [http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/1097073/ Floella Benjamin biography and credits on BFI Screenonline]
* [http://www.tv.com/floella-benjamin/person/139696/summary.html Floella Benjamin on TV.Com]
* [http://www.floellabenjamin.com/ Floella Benjamin's official website]
* [http://www.ex.ac.uk/about/chancellor.shtml University of Exeter webpage on Chancellor]

NAME = Benjamin, Floella
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Benjamiyn, Floella
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Actress, Author, Businesswoman, Chancellor of the University of Exeter, Cultural Ambassador
DATE OF BIRTH = 1949-09-23
PLACE OF BIRTH = Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad

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