Great British Menu host Andy Oliver started crying to former children’s TV presenter Dame Floella Benjamin on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen.

Born in rinidad, Dame Floella is known for her blue beaded hair and dazzling smile that won the hearts of millions of young viewers on Play School and Play Away in the 1970s and 80s.

In an interview with The Saturday Kitchen, Baroness Dame Froela said: When I came to the audition, I thought the BBC might not be ready yet, so I put on this wig.

“I didn’t think I was that impressed with her, so I said, ‘By the way, I don’t really look like this.’ When the wig came off the beads came out and she said ‘that’s great’ and auditioned for her camera.


Dame Floella Benjamin’s trademark beaded hairstyle (PA)

“I was known as the Lady of the Blue Beads. They had to send instructions to their children who wanted to be like me.

After hearing her story, Oliver said: I begged her mother and finally she did it for me. I found her very attractive. ”

Later in the program, Dame Floella explained that when she first started presenting the program, the illustrations were “all white children” and asked for changes to reflect all faces .

she said:

“I think that’s what started the diversity in children’s programs. Children’s programs are always at the forefront of change because people say that children can’t see colors, and I answered yes.” .

“Because they see color, embrace color, and are not afraid of difference, they need to start young because childhood lasts a lifetime and everything you give your child at that young age will last forever.”

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Dame Floella’s words on diversity struck a chord with Chef and Broadcaster Oliver presenting BBC Two’s Great British Menu.

Visibly emotional, she says:

“I knew I was going to cry. There was a lot of it, but it was huge. I was a little kid in Bury St. Edmunds and nobody on TV looked like me – and there was you.”

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