CHILDREN’S TV presenter, actress and charity campaigner Floella Benjamin has been appointed a Lib Dem peer in the House of Lords.
Famous for presenting Playschool and Play Away, she has taken on the title of Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham.
Lady Benjamin, who grew up in Mackenzie Road, Beckenham, was one of three new peers who yesterday took their seat in the Lords.
The 60-year-old’s parents lived at the address for around 30 years and are buried at Beckenham Crematorium and Cemetery.
She moved to England from Trinidad in 1960 aged 10 and initially arrived in Penge before settling in Beckenham.
In her biography she describes the Britain she emigrated to as “cold, unwelcoming, violent and bleak” and says how she swapped ambitions to become the country’s first black woman bank manager for drama school.
The Baroness, who now lives in Dulwich, chose Beckenham for her peerage because of her family’s connections with the area.
On her website floellabenjamin.com, she wrote: “I have been made a Lib-Dem Baroness!
“In the House of Lords I will be devoting much energy to the well being of children and young people.”
Lady Benjamin has a glittering CV and runs her own TV production Floella Benjamin Productions Ltd.
She is Chancellor of the University of Exeter and vice president of children’s charity Barnardo’s.
The former Anerley Girls School pupil also set up Touching Success, an organisation aimed at inspiring youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve success in their lives.