Dame Esther received an OBE for services to broadcasting, a CBE for services to children, and in the New Year Honours of 2015, a DBE for services to children and older people through ChildLine and The Silver Line.
A graduate from Oxford, Esther Rantzen’s career in broadcasting began with BBC radio before moving into television as a researcher/reporter for Braden’s Week and then in 1973 as producer/presenter of That’s Life, which ran for 21 years on BBC TV.
In 1986 Dame Esther invented the concept of ChildLine and chaired the charity for 20 years. After the merger of ChildLine with the NSPCC in February 2006, she became President of ChildLine and a trustee of the NSPCC.
In 2012 she invented The Silver Line, and having chaired it in its first year, she is now its President as well as being a Trustee.
Dame Esther contributes regularly to publications, and lectures on children’s issues, broadcasting and is the only Trustee, so far, to have appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, been in ITV’s Australian jungle and appeared on Question Time, while standing as an independent candidate for Luton South.
For her work in broadcasting and for children she has been awarded seven honorary doctorates, and is a Patron of 19 charities.