Floella Benjamin

The Twelve Dames of Christmas, part seven.

I can say without any doubt that the dame who had the largest influence on my childhood was Floella Benjamin. I didn’t know her personally, of course. I don’t think I have ever met an actual dame. Probably the closest I have come to meeting a dame was seeing Helen Sharman* do a talk in Wolverhampton.

Floella Benjamin presented Playschool. I liked Playschool. I liked guessing what shape of window that day’s window would be. Or at least, I am told I did. I was about four at the time and the memories I have of Playschool are certainly false; made up of things I have been told and old tv footage repeated years after the fact.

My earliest memory of Christmas that I can think of is a stocking containing several identically wrapped presents that I knew were all Star Wars figures. I think…

I was going to write for a bit about nostalgia and presents and AT-ATs but now I’m wondering if I have met a dame and, more importantly, snubbed a dame by writing that I haven’t met one. It’s probably quite a big deal, snubbing a dame. The sort of thing duels were fought over when duels were still a thing.

I definitely haven’t met a dame though.

I don’t think.


Definitely not.

I’m worrying over nothing.

I had better check Wikipedia though, for a big list of all the dames, just in case…

My favourite Star Wars figure was-

(Oh yeah, I checked the list of dames btw and I reckon I’m good. Pretty sure I haven’t met any of them)

My favourite Star Wars figure was the cloud car pilot. He had a cool yellow-and-orange hat. His right arm was folded so he could do a salute, which may be the only thing the character actually did in the film during his half-a-second of screen time. The best action figures were the ones that featured least in the films because those were the ones that you could invent your own back story for. That’s why the best scene in the entire nine film epic is Darth Vader dismissing a bunch of bounty hunters (Boba Fett, Dengar, Bossk, 4-LOM, Zuckuss and IG-88) after giving them their orders to capture Han Solo. As a child you watch that and think, “who are those guys?” and when nobody tells you, you start filling in the blanks with your imagination.

(Actually, the best scene is obviously the cantina in A New Hope, but my point about how a film can inspire an audience to keep writing the story in their minds is still valid.)

I’m just waffling now. I have no idea how to end this piece.


*Helen Sharman isn’t a dame, yet, but she went to actual space, so I reckon it should only be a matter of time before she gets to be one.