BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018: Childhood Lasts a Lifetime with Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE gave the 2018 BookTrust Annual Lecture at a special event at RIBA in London.

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE gives the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018

The theme of Baroness Benjamin's Lecture was 'Childhood Lasts a Lifetime', and she used her speech to discuss the long-lasting impact of experiences we have when we are young.

The former Play School presenter - who delighted the audience by bringing her former co-star Humpty on stage - drew on her own history of leaving Trinidad to join her parents in England as a young girl.

'Denying children books dumps them into a cultural wasteland'

She also encouraged the publishing industry to take their responsibility to young people seriously and called for a 'diversity nirvana', emphasising the importance of children seeing themselves in the books they read.

Guests at the Lecture included authors and illustrators such as Helen Oxenbury, Ed Vere, Liz Pichon and Philip Ardagh.

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Relive Floella Benjamin's lecture in pictures

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Floella Benjamin prepares to give the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Samira Ahmed and Floella Benjamin together at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Guests arrive for the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Authors Marianne Levy, Philip Ardagh and Helen Oxenbury enjoy themselves at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Author Catherine Johnson with a guest at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Author Ed Vere and Bookstart founder Wendy Cooling deep in conversation
Authors Fleur Hitchcock and Christopher Edge chat at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Little Monkey author Marta Altés was among the guests at the event
BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald opens the Lecture
Baroness Floella Benjamin smiles at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Floella Benjamin delivers the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018
Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed at the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018
Baroness Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed discuss Floella's speech
Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed talking on stage at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
A guest grabs a photo of Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed
BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Samira Ahmed... and Humpty
Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture
Auhors Ed Vere, Philip Ardagh and Liz Pichon enjoy chatting post-Lecture
Samira Ahmed speaks to guests after the Lecture
Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture
Floella Benjamin prepares to give the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Samira Ahmed and Floella Benjamin together at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Guests arrive for the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Authors Marianne Levy, Philip Ardagh and Helen Oxenbury enjoy themselves at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Author Catherine Johnson with a guest at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Author Ed Vere and Bookstart founder Wendy Cooling deep in conversation

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Authors Fleur Hitchcock and Christopher Edge chat at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Little Monkey author Marta Altés was among the guests at the event

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BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald opens the Lecture

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Baroness Floella Benjamin smiles at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Floella Benjamin delivers the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018

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Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed at the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018

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Baroness Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed discuss Floella's speech

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Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed talking on stage at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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A guest grabs a photo of Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed

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BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Samira Ahmed... and Humpty

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Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture

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Auhors Ed Vere, Philip Ardagh and Liz Pichon enjoy chatting post-Lecture

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Samira Ahmed speaks to guests after the Lecture

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Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture

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More about Floella Benjamin

Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE, DL was born in Trinidad in 1949 and came to England in 1960, aged 10. She is an actress, presenter, writer, producer, working peer and an active advocate for the welfare and education of children.

She is best known as a presenter of the iconic BBC children's television programmes Play School and Play Away, and she continues to make children's programmes. Her broadcasting work has been recognised with a Special Lifetime Achievement BAFTA and OBE.

She was appointed a Baroness in the House of Lords in 2010 where she continually promotes legislation to protect children's wellbeing. In 2012 she was presented with the prestigious J. M. Barrie Award by Action for Children's Arts, for her lasting contribution to children's lives through her art.

Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE

Floella has written 30 books, including Coming to England, a Guardian Children's Book of the Year 2016, which is used as a resource in schools in social and cross-curricular areas. The book was adapted into an award-winning film for BBC Education.

She was also appointed Chancellor of the University of Exeter until 2016 and this year had honorary Freedom of the City of London bestowed upon her.

Floella Benjamin on Coming to England and its impact 20 years on

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