Esther is a television presenter and journalist. She also launched Childline and more recently The Silver Line, a telephone support service for older people in the UK. She is a trustee of the NSPCC, a patron for 19 charities and has a damehood for services to children and older people.
“I lived with my grandmother in Hertfordshire until the Second World War finished. I remember air raid sirens and practicing putting our gas masks on under the dining room table, and then I remember victory in Europe and the news announcer declaring the end of the war on the radio. As a Jewish family, it meant so much to us. The only reason I am here today is that I was fortunate enough to be born in Britain. I never forget that.
I was very lucky that my parents never just wanted me to get married. In fact, my mother thought babies would be a good idea, but she wasn’t too sure about having a son-in-law! They had ambitions for me and they expected me to have a career. Even the school I went to drilled into us that women had fought for the vote. It gave us a sense of responsibility.