BBC announces top names to star in its coverage of D-Day 80 commemorations on BBC One and iPlayer (2024)

Well-known artists and a spectacular mix of musical stars are taking part in the live events on 5 and 6 June in Portsmouth and Normandy to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day and mark this significant moment in history. Names include actor Martin Freeman and music legend Sir Tom Jones.

With moving readings and personal testimonies, alongside powerful musical performances, the stars will provide many heartwarming moments that will bring to life the story of the military personnel, and those on the Home Front, who together led Great Britain and its Allies to victory during D-Day and the Normandy campaign in 1944.

The events, hosted by the Ministry of Defence, the Royal British Legion and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, will also see the Armed Forces join veterans of the Greatest Generation to lead the nation in commemoration of the 80th anniversary.

D-Day 80: The Allies Prepare will broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 10.15am until 1pm on Wednesday 5 June.

On 5 June, at the D-Day 80 national commemorative event on Southsea Common in Portsmouth where the Allies departed for the beaches of Normandy, talent featured includes:

Actor Phil Dunster will read the testimony of Major Rodney Maude. This is the letter Rodney wrote to his mother before he set sail for D-Day as the Major in command of 246 Field Company, Royal Engineers; actor Leonie Elliott will read the words of Pippa Latour, a SOE agent working undercover in France; actor and writer Anjli Mohindra will read the testimony of Kitty Morgan, a young factory worker who contributed to the war effort; actor and singer Julian Ovenden will bring to life the instructions given to American servicemen in A Short Guide to Great Britain; actor Kate Phillips will share the testimony of Maureen Bolster, a Wren stoker stationed in Britain; spoken word poet Tomos Roberts will read a poem especially written titled The People Who Gave Us Today; and actor, writer and comedian Jonny Weldon will read the heartbreaking letter home from Captain Jack Lee that he wrote just three days before he was killed on the 7th of June, 1944.

Musical performances include singer-songwriter Zak Abel who will sing a cover of God Only Knows, a song by American rock band The Beach Boys; actor Emma Barton who will perform a cover of Sing As We Go, first released by Gracie Fields in 193; rising star JERUB who will be performing his song There Till the End, whose lyrics speak to the shared camaraderie and brotherhood of service personnel; and American actor and singer Marisha Wallace who will perform a cover of Sing, Sing, Sing, a popular song of the era.

The event is hosted by Dame Helen Mirren.

D-Day 80: Tribute to The Fallen will broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 8.30pm until 10pm on Wednesday 5 June.

On the evening of 5 June, the eve of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a tribute to the fallen will take place in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy and Southsea Common in Portsmouth. It will feature stunning lighting displays, readings and music.

Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis will perform The Parting Glass in Portsmouth; singer and songwriter Jack Savoretti will perform his own song Soldier's Eyes; and British baritone and composer Roderick Williams, accompanied by London Voices, will sing a rendition of Lacrymosa: Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep.

Actor Katherine Parkinson will read a moving and poignant letter about a man buried in Bayeux.

D-Day 80: We Will Remember Them will broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 8.30am until 10.45am on Thursday 6 June.

On 6 June, marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the nation will come together to pay tribute to all who served in the Normandy Campaign. Set overlooking Gold Beach at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, organised by the Ministry of Defence and the Royal British Legion, the event will be the first-ever National Commemoration at this location, holding special significance for the D-Day veterans who are in attendance.

Singer and songwriter Johnny Flynn will perform his own song titled Song With No Name, accompanied by the Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force; Sir Tom Jones will take the stage to perform his song I Won't Crumble With You If You Fall; and a specially commissioned anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber - Lovingly Remembered – with lyrics by Don Black, will be performed by singer and songwriter Naomi Kimpenu with the London Youth Chamber Choir.

Actor Douglas Booth will read the words of a Royal Navy veteran who reflects on the Battle of Normandy; French actor Antonia Desplat will read the words of a volunteer nurse in Bayeux during the Normandy campaign which will highlight the French civilian effort in the Battle of Normandy; and actor Martin Freeman will read the words of a veteran who’s returning to Gold Beach for the first time in 80 years.


BBC announces top names to star in its coverage of D-Day 80 commemorations on BBC One and iPlayer (2024)
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