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Remembrance Week 2020 on the BBC


WEBWIRE

To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, across the week from Saturday 7 November BBC Television and Radio will broadcast a range of special programmes that will bring the nation together in remembrance and reflection.

In addition, Unknown Warrior 100 live from Westminster Abbey will commemorate Armistice Day with the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior. It will also celebrate the unveiling of the Cenotaph and bring to a close centennial tributes marking the end of WWI.

On TV, BBC One will broadcast Remembrance Week 2020, including:

  • The Festival Of Remembrance (Saturday 7 November, 9.10am-10.30pm), the annual commemorative event from the Royal Albert Hall hosted by Huw Edwards and featuring a tributes from TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
  • Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph (Sunday 8 November, 10.15am-11.45am with highlights on BBC Two at 7pm-8.10pm)
  • Unknown Warrior 100, including the national two minutes silence at 11am (Wednesday 11 November 10.30am-11.45am and highlights on BBC Two at 7pm-7.30pm)

On Radio 2 Paddy O’Connell will host highlights from the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall (Saturday 7 November, 8pm-9pm) and on Radio 4, Paddy will also host coverage of the Ceremony Of Remembrance from the Cenotaph (Sunday 8 November, 10.30-11.45). From Monday 9th November, An Unknown Warrior, a five-part series for Radio 4 (Monday-Friday, 9.45am-10am) will tell the story of how on Armistice Day 1920, 100 years ago, an unknown warrior was buried among the kings in Westminster Abbey and became a symbol of a nation’s grief and gratitude.

Tim Davie, Director General, says: “I am proud of the role the BBC plays every year in marking Remembrance. This year is particularly significant, as we gather remotely to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and pay tribute to their lives.”

Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, says: “Every year the BBC brings the nation together to mark Remembrance, to reflect and honour those who sacrificed their lives. This year our role has never been more important as we bring the country together with programming across TV and Radio, and the annual Festival Of Remembrance, which will pay tribute to all victims of war.”

Television

The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance
Saturday 7 November, 9.10pm - 10.30pm
BBC One

Huw Edwards presents The Royal British Legion’s annual Festival Of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall in London. In this socially distanced event, TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will give special tributes recognising the contribution of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces as well as the nursing profession.

To mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War, the event will reflect veterans’ first-hand experiences of service in Europe and the Far East. Wartime testimonies will be read by Oscar-nominated actor Samantha Morton; winner of best newcomer on a continuing drama, Kara-Leah Fernandes; and West End star Julian Ovenden. The nation’s best known veteran, Captain Sir Tom Moore, talks to Huw about his inspirational achievements and what remembrance means to him.

Mica Paris, Freya Ridings, Marisha Wallace and Sophie Ellis-Bextor perform alongside the military musicians from the Armed Forces, while Michael Ball and Alfie Boe pay a surprise visit to some well-loved veterans at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.

The event will culminate in the act of remembrance, and as the poppy petals fall in the Royal Albert Hall the Festival will pay tribute to all victims of war and remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedoms and way of life.

A BBC Studios production commissioned by Carla-Maria Lawson for the BBC.

  • Executive Producer: Kate Shiers
  • Series Producer: Catherine Stirk

Remembrance Sunday: The Cenotaph
Sunday 8 November, 10.15am - 11.45am
BBC One (highlights on BBC Two at 7pm to 8.10pm

David Dimbleby presents live coverage from the Cenotaph on BBC One. Members of the Royal Family, the Government, veterans and the Armed Forces will gather in Westminster for the National Service of Remembrance. The ceremony this year has been adapted for social distancing without spectators, who have been asked to watch from home, and the traditional March Past replaced by a contingent of veterans representing the thousands who would normally take part. Veterans from across the nation have shared stories and reflections on remembrance on film.

Sophie Raworth will speak to key participants in this unique event that will mark 100 years since the Cenotaph was built in Portland stone. The Two Minute Silence at 11am will be followed by wreath laying, as the nation remembers all those who died serving their country.

A BBC Studios production commissioned by Carla-Maria Lawson for the BBC.

  • Director: Simon Staffurth
  • Executive Producer: Michael Cole
  • Series Producer: Rosheen Archer

Unknown Warrior 100
Wednesday 11 November, 10.30am - 11.45am (highlights on BBC Two at 7pm to 7.30pm)
BBC One

Huw Edwards presents coverage live from Westminster Abbey of a unique event marking the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior. It will also celebrate the unveiling of the Cenotaph, bringing to a close centennial tributes marking the end of WWI.

An Armistice Day ceremony, encompassing the National moment of Remembrance at 11am, will thoughtfully reflect the original 1920 funeral of the Unknown Warrior, including singing by the Abbey Choir, an Address by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and readings, a performance of the hymn Abide With Me sung by Ruby Turner and performances by other special guests. It will be attended by the HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

A BBC Studios production commissioned by Carla-Maria Lawson for the BBC.

  • Executive Producer: Eamon Hardy
  • Producer: Seren Irvine

Radio

Festival Of Remembrance
Saturday 7 November, 8pm to 9pm
BBC Radio 2

Paddy O’Connell presents highlights from The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, with spectacular music from big names and military bands.

In the year that marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day and the 80th Anniversary of the Battle Of Britain, this act of remembrance pays tribute to the armed forces and remembers all victims of war and conflict through music, performance and reflection.

Veterans, Military service personnel, representatives of the Civilian Services and those who have lost loved ones come together in the spectacular setting of the Royal Albert Hall to give thanks and pay tribute to all who gave their lives in the service of their country, and who continue to risk their lives today.

Covid-19 restrictions have brought a very different type of Remembrance this year, as people across the country are encouraged to make Remembrance their own. This year, there won’t be the usual audience filling the seats of the Royal Albert Hall, instead there will be safely-distanced specially invited guests to represent those who cannot be there in person.

Remembrance of those who have died in this pandemic also forms a backdrop to the event this year, as many will wish to mark the part played by the armed forces in protecting our national life.

The Royal British Legion theme is Remember Together, focusing on the importance of remembering the service, sacrifice and collaboration of the men and women of Britain, the Commonwealth and Allied nations who fought together and worked together. Guests from music, television, film and military worlds tell Paddy of the special honour it is to be involved in this annual event.

The Festival concludes with the Service Of Remembrance, during which thousands of poppy petals are dropped from the roof of the hall, representing the lives lost in both World Wars, and subsequent conflicts.

  • Producer: Katharine Longworth for BBC Radio 2

Ceremony Of Remembrance from the Cenotaph
Sunday 8 November, 10.30am - 11.45am
BBC Radio 4

Paddy O’Connell sets the scene in London’s Whitehall for the solemn ceremony, when the nation remembers the sacrifice made by so many in the two world wars and in other more recent conflicts.

The traditional music of remembrance is played by the massed bands. After the Two Minutes Silence and Last Post, wreaths are laid at the foot of the Cenotaph by members of the Royal Family, political leaders and representatives of Commonwealth countries, before a short Service of Remembrance.

The number of veterans in the March Past is reduced this year and the streets are not lined by the usual crowds, but the familiar music and movements of the ceremony remain. As the nation marks anniversaries of The Battle Of Britain, VE Day, VJ Day and The Korean War, and also reflects on the response to Covid-19, veterans, military personnel, historians and people affected by conflict share their thoughts.

  • Producer: Katharine Longworth for BBC Radio 4

An Unknown Warrior 1/5
Monday 9 November, 9.45am - 10am
BBC Radio 4

Drawn from official documents of the time, newspaper reports, and writings of those involved, this is the story of how on Armistice Day 1920, 100 years ago, an unknown warrior was buried among the kings in Westminster Abbey and became a symbol of a nation’s grief and gratitude.

Britain in 1920 was extremely unsettled, spiritually, emotionally and politically. Many were still in mourning for those lost in the Great War. Across the fields of France and Flanders, bodies were still being exhumed and taken to the new war cemeteries, many of them never to be identified.

Many families were never to know where their loved ones were buried. And for those that did, the government had already decided that no bodies were to be returned to their families and that, for the time being, travel to the graves in the fields of France and Flanders was not permitted.

One wise war padre, who felt acutely the sorrow of the bereaved, suggested that one unknown soldier could be brought home. One body to stand for the many.

The music used in this programme was played as the congregation waited in the Abbey for the c to arrive.

  • Written, compiled and produced by Caroline Raphael, a Pier production for BBC Radio 4


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