Baroness Benjamin OBE, DL joined the Society of Film and Television Arts (as BAFTA was then known) in 1971. From 1993-2001 she was a BAFTA Council Member and Chair of BAFTA Children’s Committee from 1997 to 1998 and Chair of the TV Committee the following year. She played an important role in the creation of a separate awards ceremony for children’s television and film and presented the first children’s awards’ ceremony in 1996. She was presented with a BAFTA Special Award in 2004.
Born in Trinidad, Benjamin came to live in England in 1960. In the 1970s, after appearing in numerous stage and television productions, she became a household name when she began presenting the iconic pre-school children’s programme Play School. Her proudest achievement in television was Coming to England adapted from her auto-biography. The programme won a Royal Television Society Award in 2004. Benjamin is Chancellor University of Exeter’ Chancellor and in June 2010 she was made a life peer and introduced to the House of Lords as Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham.