Floella Benjamin reacts to being made a Dame in the New Years Honours list

29 December 2019, 10:18

Floella Benjamin was made a Dame in the New Year Honours list
Floella Benjamin was made a Dame in the New Year Honours list. Picture: LBC

By Maddie Goodfellow

Floella Benjamin said that she was "trembling" when she received the letter telling her that she was being made a Dame.

The broadcaster and campaigner said that she found out she was being honoured again about a month ago.

Speaking on LBC, Ms Benjamin said: "I got the letter, I opened it and I was trembling when I read the first two, three lines and it said they wanted to make me a Dame.

"I just couldn't believe it, I could not believe it!"

She continued: "I just wish my mum and dad had been here, the first thing you want to do is tell your mum and dad.

"I found a white feather that day, so I know my mum was looking down on me."

Ms Benjamin is known for presenting children's programmes Play School, Play Away and Fast Forward, as well as her political activism.

Speaking about her charity work, she told LBC: "I go to schools, I go to prisons and talk to people about childhood.

"I'm trying to pave the way for the future.

"Put the child first, because if you put the child first you save the country a lot of money in the NHS, the schools, the prisons."

She is already a life peer in the House of Lords and an OBE.

Ms Benjamin also said that she is “happy and thrilled, honoured and privileged” with the accolade.

She was joined by theatre legend Olivia Newton-John, who was also made a Dame.