BBC drops tonight’s Garden Rescue to air tribute to Dame Vera Lynn

The BBC's Director General Tony Hall described the singer as "a symbol of hope".

Vera Lynn

The BBC will air a special tribute tonight following the news that the much-loved wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn has died aged 103.

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The half-hour tribute, which is airing at 7:30pm on BBC One in place of Garden Rescue, will remember the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’ who helped boost the morale of World War Two soldiers.

The synopsis reads: “A tribute celebrating the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn. With footage first recorded to celebrate her 100th birthday and a new introduction by her daughter Virginia, it includes
exclusive access to Dame Vera as she watches home movies and videos from the past with her daughter.”

BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said, “What sad news. Not only was she dear to many, she was a symbol of hope during the war and is a part of our national story. She appeared on the BBC many times and had her own variety show in the 1960s and early 70s.

“She demonstrated how music and entertainment can bring joy in the most challenging times. Something that will resonate with many people today. The BBC will be showing a special tribute programme tonight.”

Vera Lynn’s songs included wartime anthem for hope We’ll Meet Again, as well as The White Cliffs of Dover and Dancing with Tears in My Eyes.

In a 2014 interview with Radio Times, Lynn recalled how she “never thought” her nickname as the Forces’ Sweetheart would stick.

“I never thought the Forces’ Sweetheart tag would stay with me, but it has, hasn’t it?” she said. “I thought it would last for the war period, then I’d just be another singer. Of course I’ve never minded that everybody always connects me with that time. It was so important.”

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A Tribute to Vera Lynn will air Thursday 18th June at 7.30pm on BBC One. If you’re looking for more to watch, visit our TV guide.