Who is Floella Benjamin and why is she a baroness? | The Sun

BARONESS Floella Benjamin is one of the most well-known names in showbiz.

With a successful 50-year career on screen, she now has a starring role in King Charles' coronation on May 6, 2023.

Who is Floella Benjamin?

Floella Benjamin is a Trinidadian-British actress, singer, presenter, author, businesswoman, and politician.

She is best known as a presenter for children's programmes such as Play School, Play Away, Jamboree and Fast Forward.

She has been awarded with numerous awards, including an OBE in 2001, a Special Lifetime Achievement Bafta Award in 2004 and the J.M Barrie Lifetime Award in 2012 for her lasting cultural legacy.

The 73-year-old was chosen to carry the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove for King Charles' coronation.

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She arrived at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023, for the coronation and wore regal red and gold robes along with a tiara.

Speaking about her starring role, the former presenter said: "I feel honoured and privileged to be part of the historic coronation ceremony.

"To be selected to carry the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Dove, which represents spirituality, equity and mercy, is for me very symbolic as it’s everything I stand for and sends out a clear message that diversity and inclusion is being embraced."

When did Floella Benjamin become a baroness?

Floella was appointed the Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.

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She received this opportunity for her services to broadcasting and contributions to the arts, sciences and charitable organizations.

Benjamin was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2008.

She received the baroness of Beckenham in the London Borough of Bromley in June 2010.

What TV shows has Baroness Benjamin been in?

After auditioning for many on-screen roles, she finally landed a big break.

She appeared in the 1975 horror film I Don't Want To Be Born and starred in the 1977 film Black Joy. 

Further television credits include Angels, Within These Walls, Crown Court, The Gentle Touch and Dixon of Dock Green. 

Another big break came in 1976 when she landed a hosting stint on the BBC's children's series Play School, for which she went on to present for 12 years.

Benjamin has also made guest appearances in the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures.

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Is Floella Benjamin married and does she have children?

Benjamin married stage manager Keith Taylor in 1980.

The pair share two grown-up kids, Alvina and Aston.

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