The BBC is providing extensive coverage of this year’s VE Day celebrations, marking 75 years since peace came to the streets of Europe and the horrors of World War Two came to an end on this continent.
At the heart of the coverage is VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration, which was supposed to be a huge concert at the Royal Albert Hall. While this is no longer possible, the event is still taking place in partnership with the Royal British Legion.
Sophie Raworth will be our host for what is being billed as a “unique and unprecedented musical celebration for VE Day”.
Who is performing?
Stars lined up to entertain us include classical singer Katherine Jenkins, actor Adrian Lester, Strictly professional Anton Du Beke, EastEnders actors Shane Richie and Emma Barton, soul singer Beverley Knight and Call the Midwife actress Helen George. There will be renditions of much-loved tunes from the 1930s and ’40s including Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover and When the Lights Go On Again. The performances will lead up to a stunning finale at the end of the night, featuring a national sing-along of Vera Lynn’s rousing number We’ll Meet Again.
How will it work?
While the event has been put together during lockdown, we’re not expecting the performers to be singing from their own homes. Instead they will be filmed singing (in a socially distanced way) from Buckingham Palace. The show will also feature contributions from World War Two veterans and a message from the Queen herself at 9pm, which is the exact time her father King George VI spoke to the nation three quarters of a century ago.
The BBC says: “It may seem an impossible task in these exceptional times, but with some ingenious technology and plucky determination we can unite as a country to celebrate VE Day as never before, and lift our sprits in honour of our greatest generation.”
Where can I watch VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration?
The musical extravaganza will air on Friday night on BBC1 at 8pm. The show is part of the BBC’s extensive VE Day coverage and will be followed with VE Day: Remembering Victory on BBC1. Other highlights include a chance to hear Churchill’s announcement of victory at 2.45pm on BBC1 and a special edition of Antiques Roadshow on Sunday at 7.15pm, also on BBC1.
VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration will air on Friday night on BBC One at 8pm.If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.