Baroness Floella Benjamin

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE, 61, presented Play School for 14 years. Since then she has worked in TV production and become a children’s champion. She and her husband, Keith Taylor, 61, have two children, Aston, 29, and Alvina, 22

Celeb Q&A June 2011The best thing my parents taught me…

I have five siblings and my mother taught each of us that education was our passport to life. She said, “You go to school and you learn, because they’ll never be able to take that away from you.” It’s a message
I pass on to young people today.

My most vivid memory from childhood is…

When I was three years old and living in Trinidad. My mum was expecting my brother Lester and she told me to go out on the veranda and look up in the sky for the stork that would bring the baby. I remember not wanting to take my eyes off the sky. Then I heard a baby cry and was upset that I hadn’t seen the stork – I really believed it was going to deliver my new brother.

My secret talent is…

Being a rock chick. I discovered that when I was about 58! Up until then
I only sang jazz, as my father was a jazz musician and he was put out of business because of the advent of rock and roll so banned us all from listening to it. But a few years ago I had to do a charity gig and was asked to sing rock and roll with writer Ken Follett. I gave it go – and I loved it!

My most treasured possession is…

The first present my husband gave me: a silver heart. I’ve worn it now for nearly 40 years. I’m fortunate to have discovered what pure love is
- this is what the heart represents.

The proudest moment of my life was…

When I was introduced to the 
House of Lords last year. When the doors opened I felt as if I was standing on the summit of life’s mountain, looking back at all of 
the adversity and my successes.

If I could wave a magic wand I would…

Try and make people understand what contentment is, to learn how not to be greedy or take things to the extreme. It’s about that feeling of being satisfied and not wanting more. When you take things too far, that’s when problems arise.

When the sun comes out I like to…

Smile. Then I wait for the sun to go down, as I’m an avid photographer. I’m always click, clicking and have thousands of pictures of sunsets.

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