Baroness Floella Benjamin is an inspiration, an actress and much-loved children’s television presenter who is today a member of the House of Lords. But how did the girl from Trinidad end up lunching with the Queen?
In What Are You Doing Here? Floella describes arriving in London as a child, part of the Windrush generation, and the pain caused by the racism she encountered every day. It was offset by the love of her parents, who gave her the pride in her heritage, self-belief and confidence that have carried her through life. From winning a role in groundbreaking musical Hair (while clearly stating she would not take her clothes off) to breaking down barriers on Play School, from refusing to be typecast in roles to speaking out for diversity at the BBC and BAFTA, she has remained true to herself.
She also reveals how she met husband Keith, became a mother of two, was befriended by Kenneth Williams, hugged President Obama, and found a purpose that would underpin everything she did – campaigning for the needs of children. Sharing the lessons she has learned, imbued with her joy and positivity, this book is the moving testimony of a remarkable woman.