Baroness Floella Benjamin

Learn about the life of actress, broadcaster, producer, author, philanthropist and political figure

By The Voice Newspaper

Dame Floella Benjamin (1980) by N/AThe Voice Newspaper

Coming to England

Born in Trinidad, Floella Benjamin was 10 years old when she came to England as part of the Windrush Generation, people who emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain between 1948 in 1960. This experience was recalled in her memoir 'Coming to England'.

Dame Floella Benjamin (1977) by Photo: GettyThe Voice Newspaper

Talented Actress

Baroness Benjamin has also achieved success as an actress, appearing in hit stage productions Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, TV shows such as Angels, Within These Walls, Crown Court and Bergerac and a number of films including the critically acclaimed Black Joy.

Dame Floella Benjamin (2020) by Photo: GettyThe Voice Newspaper

Lasting Cultural legacy

Her broadcasting work has been recognised with numerous awards, including an OBE in 2000, a Special Lifetime Achievement BAFTA Award in 2005 and the J.M Barrie Lifetime Award in 2012 for her lasting cultural legacy.

Dame Floella Benjamin (2020) by Photo: GettyThe Voice Newspaper

Floella Benjamin - receives Damehood

Baroness Floella Benjamin, the former children's TV presenter was recognised for her services to charity in the 2020 New Year Honours List where she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).

Dame Floella Benjamin, Arthur Edwards/Getty, 2015, From the collection of: The Voice Newspaper
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Dame Floella Benjamin receiving damehood, Photo: Press Association, 2020, From the collection of: The Voice Newspaper
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Dame Floella Benjamin, Photo: F Benjamin Twitter, 2020, From the collection of: The Voice Newspaper
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Dame Floella Benjamin (2009) by Photo: FlickrThe Voice Newspaper

Baroness Floella Benjamin - the advocate

She has regularly spoken about Britain’s need to recognise the significant cultural, economic and sporting contribution made to the country by the Windrush Generation.

Dame Floella Benjamin at the Chelsea Flower Show (2018) by Mark Thomas/Rex/ShutterstockThe Voice Newspaper

The Windrush Generation Committee

Baroness Benjamin is Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, a group commissioned by former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May to give advice on how best to create a permanent tribute to the Windrush Generation and their descendants.

Sculptor of Baroness Benjamin (2017) by Photo: University of Exeter/ F BenjaminThe Voice Newspaper

Sculpted into greatness

She was the Chancellor of the University of Exeter for the last ten years, the first black woman university chancellor in the UK. In 2017, a bronze sculpture celebrated Baroness Benjamin’s tenure as Exeter Chancellor and also in recognition of her special relationship with Exeter Chancellor and also in recognition of her special relationship with Exeter graduates. 

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