Floella Benjamin has claimed she once turned down a night of passion with David Bowie, despite his best attempts to seduce her.
Benjamin, one of Britain’s first Black children’s TV presenters and today a serving member of the House of Lords, described in her new autobiography an encounter with the legendary musician in the Seventies.
“Would you like to come upstairs with me?” Benjamin claimed Bowie asked her at a party. “I want to offer you the world. You can have anything you desire.”
She added: “I’ve joked ever since about the night I turned down David Bowie!”
Benjamin’s new book, What Are You Doing Here?, describes the night in question, which saw her attending a bash with other stars including Marc Bolan and Mick Jagger.
“When David Bowie walked into the room, slim and charismatic, all eyes were drawn to him,” she recalled. “He came straight over to me and bowed. ‘May I have this dance?’ he said.” She added that she has “never forgotten the way he moved”.
Benjamin’s book also explores her rise in television via the iconic Seventies programme Play School, and later her pioneering role as the first female chancellor of colour at a UK Special School.
Earlier this year, Bowie’s estate sold his entire body of work for a reported $250m (£203m).
The artist’s former drummer Woody Woodmansey also recalled Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona helped “rocket [the band] into the top level of rock’n’roll”.
One of the most irreverent, important and influential icons of 20th century music, Bowie sold an estimated 100m records in his lifetime.
He died from liver cancer in January 2016 at the age of 69.