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D-Day 80th Anniversary – How to watch on TV and BBC iPlayer and listen on Radio and BBC Sounds

D-Day 80 We Will Remember Them is written in large block capitals above an image of a beach

6 June 2024 marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Overlord, which saw tens of thousands of soldiers embark from Portsmouth to cross the Channel, establishing a foothold across the French coast in order to begin the advance to liberate northwest Europe.

As dawn broke on the morning of 6 June 1944 thousands of Allied Warships made their way towards the coast of Northern France. D-Day had finally arrived. Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare was underway, heralding one of the most decisive campaigns of World War 2. More than 150,000 troops would land on five beaches in Normandy.

The BBC is marking this momentous undertaking with a range of live and historic programming across TV, BBC iPlayer, Radio and BBC Sounds.

D-Day 80th Anniversary on TV and BBC iPlayer

D-Day 80: The Allies Prepare

D-Day 80 The Allies Prepare is written in large block capitals above an image of a beach

The D-Day 80 national commemorative event will broadcast live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 10.15am. Presented by Anita Rani with reporter JJ Chalmers, and with accessible commentary for the blind and partially sighted provided by Petroc Trelawny, the event will take place on the seafront in Portsmouth where, 80 years ago, the Allies departed for the beaches of Normandy.

The event, hosted by Academy Award-winning Dame Helen Mirren, will celebrate the incredible joint work of the UK, Commonwealth and Allied troops in preparing for the largest naval, air and land operation in history. This hugely ambitious endeavour turned the tide of World War Two.

Who are the performers?

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 1934; 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.

D-Day 80: Tribute to The Fallen

D-Day 80 Tribute to The Fallen is written in large block capitals above an image of a beach

On the evening of 5 June, the eve of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a tribute to the fallen takes place in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Bayeux War Cemetery in Normandy and Southsea Common in Portsmouth featuring stunning lighting displays, readings and music to mark this significant moment in history.

As darkness falls, each of the 4,600 headstones of those that fell will be individually illuminated across Bayeux War Cemetery, creating a poignant modern act of commemoration.

Kirsty Young anchors the live broadcast from Bayeux Cemetery, joined by special guests, guiding viewers through this remarkable story of our nation. Petroc Trelawny provides accessible commentary for the blind and partially sighted.

Who are the performers?

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

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, the event, organised by the Royal British Legion and the Ministry of Defence, will be the first-ever National Commemoration at this location, holding special significance for the D-Day veterans who are in attendance.

Within the event, contributions will be grounded in living testimony, gathered through special conversations curated exclusively for this anniversary allowing us to hear the last remaining stories first-hand before we enter a post-witness era.

The event will conclude with a traditional act of remembrance, accompanied by a special tribute from the Red Arrows and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, flying over Normandy to salute this remarkable generation and our nation’s heroes.

Paddy O’Connell, whose father proudly served during D-Day, will provide commentary, while Sophie Raworth reports live from the British Normandy Memorial, joined by special guests. Petroc Trelawny provides accessible commentary for the blind and partially sighted.

Who are the performers?

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.

D-Day: The Unheard Tapes

A soldier on the battlefield, sitting down, looking shocked. He wears a helmet and uniform. In the background, another soldier crouches on the ground.

Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the invasion, D-Day: The Unheard Tapes relives one of the most extraordinary days in the history of modern warfare using powerful eyewitness accounts recorded with those who experienced it first-hand. The series features a trove of rare audio recordings sourced from archives around the world, bringing together British, American, German and French perspectives for the first time. Many of them have never been heard publicly before.

Young actors, cast to resemble the interviewees at the time of the war, lip-sync the original testimony in documentary settings, to recall moments of bravery, fear, chaos and confusion, and these memories are interwoven with immersive, fragmented documentary-style dramatic recreation.

Together, they tell the story of the fateful Normandy invasion and the bloody battle that followed, in which over 100,000 people lost their lives.

This is the story of D-Day, told by those who were there, as they lived through it.

The One Show

The One Show will be marking the 80th Anniversary of D-Day with an extended special on 5th June during which we’ll meet one of the few remaining D-Day veterans as he’s reunited with an original Dakota that’s been painstakingly restored.

We’ll be bringing together some of the last surviving women of the Royal Navy (WRNS) who played key roles in the operation to share their inspirational stories. Plus alongside some special guests, we’ll be showcasing how people are coming together across the UK and in France to mark the occasion and there’ll be a poignant performance from The D-Day Darlings as we meet the younger generation of singers they’ve inspired.

Also that week, with the help of Katherine Jenkins, we give a very emotional One Big Thank You to a dedicated volunteer who gives up her time to help veterans.

Naoi gu Deich

Guthan an fheadhainn a bh’ aig D-Day agus bàrdachd a sgrìobh fear a bh’ ann. Archive first hand accounts from D-Day veterans and compelling poetry written at the time by one of them.

Strì gu Sìth

Dealbh air na thachair air D-Day, an 6mh den Ògmhios 1944 bho chuid de na bha a’ sàs ann. The events of D-Day as described by some of those involved on the 6th June 1944.

Antiques Roadshow: D-Day

Fiona Bruce stands outdoors wearing a dark coat and blue patterned scarf. A statue of three soldiers is slightly blurred in the background.

For this special edition of the Antiques Roadshow, Fiona Bruce is in Normandy in France to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in June 1944.

Filmed in Normandy and at the D-Day Story Museum in Portsmouth, the episode features remarkable first-hand testimony from those who were there, including veteran Ken Cooke. Across five beaches, codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, ‘Operation Overlord’ was the largest seaborne invasion in history – an event that would turn the tide of World War II, and lead ultimately to the defeat of Germany and victory for the Allies just under a year later, in May 1945. With our Roadshow experts at locations across the UK, we unfold the story of D-Day through various items brought in by our visitors, and rare artefacts held in various museums.

Countryfile

Anita Rani and Charlotte Smith discover how Dorset played an important role in in the build-up to D-Day.

They visit Studland Beach, where in April 1944 there was a full-scale dress rehearsal for D-Day and Tyneham village, which was requisitioned by the War Office in 1943 and used to train troops. And Adam finds out how the UK’s farmers helped the country prepare for D-Day.

Bargain Hunt: All About D-Day

Bargain Hunt presenter Danny Sebastian stands holding a metal helmet with a wide brim, surrounded by war memorabilia including coats, bags, uniforms, old flashlights and an old radio

Bargain Hunt remembers the 80th anniversary of D-Day with an episode featuring two teams of Armed Forces veterans, filmed at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire.

Joining experts Stephanie Connell and John Cameron are former Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service) Carolyn, former Women’s Royal Air Force veteran Irene, and former RAF servicemen Dan and Mike. Presenter Danny Sebastian meets photographer Seimon Pugh-Jones, who talks about his work providing artifacts for the sets of blockbuster films and TV series, such as Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. Seimon also shows Danny a mobile museum that he has created, dedicated to telling the story of the Normandy landings of 1944.

Songs of Praise 80th Anniversary of D-Day

Aled Jones stands outdoors wearing a white shirt and dark blue tie, with a dark navy coat.

To mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Aled Jones is in Portsmouth to meet 99-year-old veteran Stan Ford and to reflect on why it’s more important than ever to remember the fallen.

BBC Newsround

For children aged seven and older, D-Day – A Newsround Special will explore the pivotal role that the Normandy landings had in securing our freedom. Two children, William and Lyra, explore their family connection to D-Day, and travel to Normandy with two veterans, Mervyn and Arthur, to bring to life the role that the wartime generation played in liberating Europe.

BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast will present special programmes from Portsmouth and the British Normandy Memorial across 5 and 6 June.

John Maguire will travel to Northern France with some of the brave men who were there in 1944 including Ralph McClure, grandfather of ‘Line of Duty’ actor Vicky McClure. We’ll also speak to one of the oldest surviving D Day veterans Percival Chafer who is 104-years-old.

Saving Lives at Sea in World War II

Dermot O'Leary stood in front of a Lifeboat that’s resting on a trailer in a harbour.

In this special episode commemorating the 2024 bicentenary of the RNLI, Dermot O’Leary uncovers the untold story of the institution’s heroic efforts in the Second World War. In all of its 200 years, the RNLI had never faced such an immense challenge, as its lifeboat crews were called to serve in the most perilous of conditions, ultimately saving thousands of lives.

Having spent much of his childhood on the east coast of England, Dermot is a proud ambassador of the RNLI. But even he knew precious little about this hidden history of the institution. He delves deep into some of the war’s most iconic and surprising stories from across Britain, uncovering the extraordinary role the RNLI played in the war effort.

BBC News We Were There

Eighty years on, the BBC has been gathering first-hand accounts from the surviving UK D-Day veterans – some more than 100 years of age. In D-Day 80: We Were There, Rachel Burden traces their stories in Normandy and hears memories of the massive beach invasion and the battles that followed.

BBC News

BBC News is providing a range of historical and contextual coverage in the lead to the day including D-Day: We Were There – an iPlayer documentary interviewing veterans on their first-hand experience, as well as reports across radio, TV and online.

On the day there will be special rolling live coverage of D-Day from France, the UK and around the world on the BBC News Channel, and packages on TV and radio bulletins.

D-Day 80th Anniversary on Radio and BBC Sounds

Vernon Kay – D-Day 80: Live from Normandy

On Thursday 6 June, Vernon Kay presents his mid-morning show live from the Normandy coast.

He’ll hear from families of the soldiers involved in the largest seaborne invasion in history about what they experienced as they headed ashore, and speak to those who will give further context to what became the start of the liberation of France.

Jeremy Vine – D-Day 80: Live from Portsmouth

Jeremy Vine presents his show live from Portsmouth, which was the headquarters and main departure point for military personnel heading for Sword Beach in France.

He’ll tell the story of how the area became a huge armed camp for troops and the local lockdown that closed the area to visitors. He’ll hear about the role this city played in this crucial turning point in World War II and will be exploring the dockyards and finding out what it all meant to those who lived there.

Sunday Night is Music Night

The Portsmouth Guildhall concert, D-Day 80: Commemorating the Normandy Landings, presented by Vernon Kay, features the combined musical forces of the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band performing some of the best loved and most enduring music of that era.

The concert features classic film scores, including Maurice Jarre’s The Longest Day, Gerard Schurmann’s Attack On The Iron Coast, John Addison’s A Bridge Too Far and John Williams’ Hymn To The Fallen from Saving Private Ryan. Musicians also played an important role during those times, most notably Glenn Miller’s United States Army Air Force Band. They arrived in England in 1944 and over the next year would make more than 500 broadcasts and 300 live performances attended by more than one million military personnel. Among their classics to be performed are In The Mood, Tail End Charlie and Moonlight Serenade.

The concert also features guests, including the acclaimed soul voice of Vanessa Haynes who sings some of the biggest hits of 1944, including Duke Ellington’s Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me and Nat ‘King’ Cole’s Straighten Up And Fly Right. Nine-piece vocal ensemble, The D-Day Darlings, revisit those Vera Lynn favourites, We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover, and singer / pianist Kate Garner takes a nostalgic look back at Now Is The Hour and I’m Gonna Get Lit Up When The Lights Go Up In London.

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live will be commemorating 80 years since D-Day with special live coverage and updates from events across the country and in Normandy.

The Beaches

Metal and wooden items protrude from the sand on a beach

It was a top-secret little-known mission that changed the outcome of World War II. Not Alan Turing’s Enigma but a daring experiment under cover of darkness on the shores of northern France.

In this dramatic and revealing documentary Harrison Lewis and Christian Dunne re-enact one of the most remarkable feats of the Second World War and discover the intricate details of the forgotten science that underpinned D-Day.

D-Day: The Last Voices

A silhouette of a soldier on a battlefield, walking amid smoke. A tank and barbed wire loom through the smoke.

D-Day: The Last Voices for Radio 4 brings together a rich collection of historical audio testimonies recorded with those who fought in the invasion of Normandy, alongside extraordinary new interviews with the last surviving veterans, to tell their story of D-Day as it unfolded.

Presented by Paddy O’Connell, each programme charts a distinct chapter of the complex, visceral and moving story of the invasion, from subterfuge and secret planning, to the approach of H-Hour, the landings by air and sea, and on into the battles beyond the beaches.

Commissioned as a collaboration with D-Day: The Unheard Tapes for BBC Two, and drawing on the same longitudinal access and research, the series tells the story of D-Day through the last voices of those who lived it, leading us through their personal experiences of the invasion. Supported by the historical recordings of those who were there with them – this is their story, told in their own words.

BBC Northern Ireland

BBC News NI will be bringing audiences to the heart of the D-Day 80th anniversary commemorations in Normandy, broadcasting from Sword Beach, Pegasus Bridge and following the Royal Irish Regiment. Its predecessor, the Royal Ulster Rifles regiment, was unique in having its entire formed strength land in France on 6 June 1944.

Our coverage over the days leading up to the 6 June anniversary will include interviews with people there on D-Day, reports about Northern Ireland’s role in preparing Allied troops for the invasion and the feelings of those both in Northern Ireland and in France on the significance of the occasion 80 years later.

On D-Day itself we will bring you colour and commentary on the ceremonies paying tribute to the fallen, including a sunrise tribute on Sword Beach and a service of remembrance in Ranville War Cemetery.

You will see the latest news and colour features as well as archive footage: Declan Harvey will be fronting the presentation for BBC Newsline and Chris Buckler for Radio Ulster, with further coverage from reporters including Lyndsey Telford and Chris Andrews.