Entertainment & Arts

Lady Floella Benjamin takes seat in House of Lords

Baroness Floella Benjamin
Image caption Lady Benjamin has pledged to devote her energy to the welfare of young people

Children's TV presenter Floella Benjamin has taken her seat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat peer.

Her official title is Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham in Kent but she will go by the simpler Baroness or Lady Benjamin.

The 60-year-old TV veteran was one of 56 new peers created by the Government last month.

Lady Benjamin is best known for hosting shows like Play Away but works with a number of UK charities.

In a statement on her website, she pledged to devote "much energy to the well being of children and young people" during her time in the House of Lords.

Cultural ambassador

Born in Trinidad, Lady Benjamin's family emigrated to the UK when she was 10.

She hosted children's television shows including Play School and Play Away and was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 2001.

She has also served as chairman of Bafta Television and, in 2006, became Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

In recent years, she has played a recurring role in the Doctor Who spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures on BBC One, and created several children's television programmes through her self-named company.

Lady Benjamin currently works with Action for Children and Barnardo's and is a cultural ambassador for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

At yesterday's ceremony, Lady Benjamin swore allegiance to the Queen while dressed in traditional ermine.

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