Children’s TV star Floella Benjamin offered thousands to strip naked for Playboy

Kids’ telly favourite Floella Benjamin was offered thousands to pose naked for Playboy after finding fame on BBC children's show Play School.

Floella was in Cannes at the time promoting a film when she was told “some important people from a magazine wanted to meet”.

READ MORE: Playboy model says men offer to buy her undies – and pay her to drip food on herself

She revealed: “So off I went. ‘We would like you to be in Playboy magazine,’ the men announced, clearly expecting me to fall over with gratitude. ‘Oh?’ I said.

“Playboy was famous for its raunchy centrefolds, featuring a Playmate of the Month, complete with a listing of each woman’s birth date, body measurements, turn-ons and turn-offs.

“By the early 70s, these were full frontal nudes. ‘We want you to be our centrefold wearing nothing except for your blue beads.’ ‘Sorry, but no thank you,’ I told them immediately.

“‘But we’re going to make you an international star!’ they assured me. ‘No, thank you.’

“‘We’ll give you lots and lots of money,’ they said hastily, amazed at my rejection of what they could only see as an unmissable opportunity. ‘Thousands of dollars.’ ‘No, thank you,’ I repeated.

“To appear nude in a magazine was against all my principles. No amount of money or fame could tempt me.”

Floella, now a Dame, said in her new book What Are You Doing Here? that was a role model for millions of kids who idolised her.

The 72-year-old explained: “In only half a year, I’d seen how much I was changing children’s lives. I could picture my future ahead of me, working with children, making a difference in the world.

“Why would I want to ruin all that, give up everything I had achieved, for such a short-term gain?

“I always threw my mind beyond the horizon to look into the future, visualising the consequences of any decision before committing myself. They couldn’t believe it.

“Floella Benjamin had said no? Nobody said no to Playboy.

“Taking off your clothes was nothing unusual in the 70s. Most actresses did nude scenes at the drop of a hat. It was no big deal.

“I’d already turned down lots of dramas when directors wanted me to appear topless or nude. ‘No,’ I’d been saying firmly, ever since Hair. Always.

“Why would I suddenly say yes to Playboy? I believe that women should have a choice about these things. And we do have a choice.

“Whenever I said ‘no’, I always knew it was likely to mean I’d never get another job from that person, but that was my choice.”


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