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29

December

Esther Rantzen to become a Dame

Edward Lloyd

Esther Rantzen with Lord Julian Fellowes

ESTHER RANTZEN TO BECOME A DAME

Esther RantzenLifelong campaigner and broadcaster Esther Rantzen, 74 is to be become a Dame in the New Year's Honours List for services to charity.

Well deserved, the campaigner presented the TV series That's Life for 20 years, founded ChildLine, and two years ago The Silver Line for the lonely elderly, and through the charities, has turned peoples lives around.
ChildLine was established in 1986 by the now President Esther Rantzen, after sexually abused and bullied children were highlighted on That's Life.  The television presenter started The Silver Line in 2013 after experiencing loneliness in her own home, where following the death of her husband film-maker Desmond Wilcox, she dreaded returning to an empty home. The broadcaster was awarded an OBE in 1991, followed by a CBE in 2006.

Born in Berkhamsted Herts, she went to the North London Collegiate School and then to Somerville College Oxford.
After training as a BBC secretary, she became a BBC Radio studio manager.  In 1968, researching for Braden's Week led to presenting a new programme That's Life. She met her future husband Desmond Wilcox  while he was head of her department.  From 1973 to 1994, an audience of 19million watched Esther Rantzen lift the lid on issues across the UK.  The TV series Esther 1996 - 2002 was BAFTA nominated.
Despite having appeared on numerous TV programmes, and writing for various national newspapers, writing several books including Esther, her autobiography, she has found the time to be patron of several charities.

The broadcaster has won several awards, including A Lifetime Achievement for Women In Television, the Royal Television Society Special Judges Award For Journalism, their Fellowship, and Membership of their Hall Of Fame.  BAFTA presented her with the Dimbleby Award for Factual Presentation.  She won the Snowdon Award for services to the disabled.

Esther Rantzen is recognised for a life lived for others.

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