Floella Benjamin awarded a BAFTA Fellowship

BAFTA Fellowship for Baroness Floella Benjamin

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At the 2024 British Academy Television Awards ceremony, which took place at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 12 May, Baroness Floella Benjamin (who was born in Pointe-à-Pierre, Trinidad and Tobago), was the recipient of The Fellowship, the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA.

Journalist, newsreader, and presenter Clive Myrie presented it to her in recognition of her exceptional contribution to television. From the moment she appeared on the nation’s screens in Play School fifty years ago, she has been a tireless advocate of diversity, inclusion, and children’s rights.

Excerpts from her acceptance speech included: “I feel blessed as I stand on the summit of life’s mountain looking back at my adventurous journey, sparkled with affection but also with challenges and adversities. I’ve been told shut up or you will never work again when I spoke out! But my mission over the last fifty years has been to get broadcasters and organisations to have diversity and inclusion in their DNA!

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 I am so proud of my work for children, making them feel loved, confident, hopeful, worthy, as I took them through the windows of imagination! Inspiring them to grow up and make a difference for others, and many of my Play School babies like Clive, are doing just that!

Childhood lasts a lifetime! And I believe everyone in our industry has that same responsibility, as we are privileged to be able to influence society’s thinking and behaviour, which in turn affects the nation’s children. So, it is important that we provide high quality regulated content that reflects children’s lives no matter where or how they are watching.

How, I wish my beloved mum and dad were alive to celebrate this part of my family’s Windrush journey.”

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