Episode from the podcastDesert Island Discs

Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE

Released Thursday, 15th October 2020
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Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE is a Trinidadian-British broadcaster, writer and politician. She became a familiar face to millions of viewers through her work on children's television, most notably on Play School, which she first presented in 1976.

She was born in Trinidad in 1949, the second of six children. When her parents emigrated to the UK, she and her siblings were initially left behind with foster parents. After 16 months, the family was able to reunite, when the children travelled to England by sea. At first they all lived in one room in south London. Eventually her parents were able to buy a house in Beckenham, where they lived for 40 years - which is why Floella decided on the title Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham when she entered the House of Lords in 2010 as a Liberal Democrat peer.

There was no hint of her later high public profile when she left school at 16 to work in a bank, until she dared to audition for a West End musical during her lunch break. She was successful, going on to appear in numerous London shows, before her move into television. Along with her work in front of the camera, she set up her own TV production company, as well as publishing books and working closely with charities for children and young people. She has also campaigned for high standards in children's broadcasting and more diversity in the creative industries.

She was the Chancellor of Exeter University for a decade, starting in 2006, and earlier this year she received a Damehood for her services to charity.

DISC ONE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson
DISC TWO: Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley and the Wailers
DISC THREE: Puttin’ on the Ritz by Ella Fitzgerald
DISC FOUR: Once by Stan Getz
DISC FIVE: Begin the Beguine by Julio Iglesius
DISC SIX: The Prince of Denmark’s March by Jeremiah Clarke, performed by the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble
DISC SEVEN: Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
DISC EIGHT: Smile by Nat King Cole

BOOK CHOICE: Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
LUXURY ITEM: A neck rest
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Greatest Love of All by George Benson

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Sarah Taylor

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ID
76400222
Visibility
visible
Podcast ID
42135

Episode Details

Length
36m 9s
Explicit
No
Episode Type
Full

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