What to watch on Remembrance Sunday on TV – from films to documentaries

Remembrance Sunday sees a host of documentaries, shows and films on World War One and World War Two air on television.

Rows of crosses with poppies are laid out to make a field of Remembrance beside Westminster Abbey in preparation for the main Remembrance Sunday ceremony in central London, on November 8, 2021

As one of the most poignant dates in the British and Commonwealth calendar, Remembrance Sunday marks the contributions of those who fought and contributed in the First and Second World Wars and conflicts since.

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Following on from the annual Remembrance Day on November 11th, Remembrance Sunday this year falls on November 14th and therefore sees our television schedules influenced by the subject matter of the day.

As is typically the case, the Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph commemorations will air on BBC One and will see a number of politicians, servicemen and women, Commonwealth representatives and members of the royal family pay tribute to those who have fought for British and Commonwealth nations in conflicts since the First World War.

Much of these shows take place as part of the BBC’s Remembrance Week schedule, but there are some further offerings to be found in repeat showings and also on other channels.

RadioTimes.com has assembled the most notable shows and films on television for you to tune in for to mark this important day.

Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph, 10:15am, BBC One

The Cenotaph in Whitehall, Westminster
The Cenotaph in Whitehall, Westminster
Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Airing from 10:15am, David Dimbleby will host Remembrance Sunday commemorations for the service in Westminster.

The event will be attended by members of the UK government including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Opposition Leaders including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

There will also be representatives of the Commonwealth nations and the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air present.

Finally, members of the royal family will also be present for the event including The Prince of Wales, his wife The Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen was unable to attend due to health reasons.

Songs of Praise, 1:15pm, BBC One

At 1.15pm, Good Morning Britain presenter Sean Fletcher will present the special show of Songs of Praise to mark Remembrance Sunday from the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

During the show, Sean will meet a number of Christians connected to the war, including 97-year-old Bernard Morgan who was one of the youngest RAF sergeants on D-Day.

Additionally, Sean will visit the Poppies installation in the museum that is a ceramic sculpture previously seen in the Tower of London.

Meanwhile, Pam Rhodes will visit a Kentish Poppy factory and there will also be a performance of In Flanders Fields by The Choristers.

Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph, 6:50pm, BBC Two

If you missed the full service live earlier in the day, then David Dimbleby will present the highlights show from 6:50pm on BBC Two.

Flying for Britain with David Jason, 8pm, ITV3

In this documentary from last year, Only Fools and Horses legend David Jason meets members of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The special marked 80 years since the Battle of Britain which took place in the country’s skies as soldiers put their lives at risk in the conflict.

The film examines how the members of the flight maintain and fly an aircraft from the era.

The Lark Ascending, 8pm, BBC Four

Diana Rigg
The late Dame Diana Rigg
Getty

In this half-hour documentary from 2012 on BBC Four at 8pm, the late great Dame Diana Rigg presents an exploration of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and why it remains such a staple of commemorates the First World War.

The piece, which was first written in 1914 is then performed by violinist Julia Hwang and pianist Charles Matthews.

Dame Diana passed away at the age of 82 last year.

Antiques Roadshow: World War One Special, 8pm, BBC Two

At 8pm on BBC Two there is a repeat of a previous instalment shown on BBC One of Antiques Roadshow.

This is a special of the beloved antiques show that takes place at the Etaples Military Centre in France.

Fiona Bruce presents as experts examine a number of objects with profound connections to the First World War.

One of the most poignant examined are two poppies that were picked in Ypres in 1915, while another is a vital document connected directly to the end of the war 1918.

They Shall Not Grow Old, 9pm, BBC Four

They Shall Not Grow Old
They Shall Not Grow Old

At 9pm on Sunday night, the acclaimed documentary film from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson titled They Shall Not Grow Old airs on BBC Four.

The film painstakingly assembled black-and-white archive footage from the First World War of service men in the trenches and working hard in the war effort.

Using state of the art technology, Jackson transformed the film visual and audio archive content to bring to life the experience of the Great War from what was available the BBC and Imperial War Museum archives.

Colourised by hand by the film’s team and digitised to be in 3D, Jackson brings the lost soldiers to life like never before.

Our Queen at War, 9pm, ITV3

In this documentary narrated by Downton Abbey 2 actress Phyllis Logan, the life of The Queen during the Second World War as Princess Elizabeth is examined.

How did the war shape our monarch’s teenage years and life experiences?

The Art of WWII: A Culture Show, 11:35pm, BBC Four

If you are in the mood for a late-night examination of art influenced by the First World War then do be sure to check out this Culture Show special at 11:35pm on BBC Four.

Presenter Alastair Sooke marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain by examining posters, portraits and large artwork.

Sooke will also speak with industry workers, survivors of the Blitz and the iconic Land Girls.

The documentary will also see the presenter visit locations relevant to the conflict from shipyards at the Clyde to concentration camps in northern Germany.

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If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.