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Baroness Floella Benjamin

Baroness Floella Benjamin left school at 16 in 1966, with an aim of becoming Britain’s first ever Black woman bank manager but realized that because of her colour, her dream was unlikely to become a reality. So, she changed direction and went on to become 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 51 years in show business and has appeared on stage, film and television, working with some of Britain’s top drama directors. She is best known for her role in the iconic children’s programmes Playschool and Playaway. She has written over 30 books and the latest edition of Coming to England is now a number one best seller and is used as a cross-curricular resource in schools and teacher training colleges across the UK. Her creative work has been recognized 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, the first Black woman Chancellor in the UK. In 2010, she was elevated into the House of Lords, where she speaks on children’s, diversity and media issues. In 2019, she was awarded a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Women in Film & Television and this year made history by becoming the first Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators. She currently chairs the Windrush Commemoration Committee, set up by the Government to commission a lasting monument to the Windrush Generation in central London.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Baroness Floella Benjamin receives royalties as a published author. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Baroness Floella Benjamin serves as a volunteer for several charitable organizations. For a complete list, please contact customer service at