BBC set to Remember

By Caroline Fraser


The BBC are ready to broadcast many television and radio shows in order to make 2009 a particularly poignant year in the season of Rememberance.

With the news that over 100 British soldiers have lost their lives fighting over the last 12 month alone, the BBC’s programme schedule will pay particular attention to those who lost their lives as well as marking and celebrating the lives of the First World War veterans as we mark the end of that admired generation of men.

The programmes will enable millions of people to pay their respects and celebrate with the commemeration services as Britain remembers its dead.  Peter Cleminson, The Royal British Legion’s National Chairman has said, ‘As the National Custodian of Remembrance, the Royal British Legion is grateful that these events are televised in order for the nation to be able to join as one in the act of Remembrance.’  It is very apparent that both the public and the BBC recognise just how important these televised and audio events are this year.  Nick Vaughan-Barratt, Head of BBC Events adds, ‘Remembrance is a time when the politics and argument are put aside for the whole nation to unite in paying our respects to those who died in conflict.’

Vaughn-Barratt continues saying, ‘It’s always a privilege to be able to bring these moving and powerful events to our viewers and listeners each year.’  Both the BBC’s television and broadcasting departments are ready to unveil programmes which will inform and entertain the public on a very pressing subject matter.  But, as Vaughan-Barratt says, the nation should join in remembering those who bravely fought and gave their lives to serve Britain.

The programmes have attracted some of Britain’s well-known singers Jaime Cullum and teenage singing sweetheart Faryl Smith will be paying their respects and preforming at the live annual Festival of Rememberance event which will be broadcast on BBC 1 on 7 November 2009, 9.15pm.  This year’s broadcast will be held at The Royal Albert Hall and will be presented by Huw Edwards, the presenter of the BBC’s News at Ten.  This year, the Festival will be telling the tales of brave men and women who dedicated their time to the Services as well as showing rare footage of a trip made by a military transport aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster.

In addition to the televised broadcasts, BBC Radio 2 will be transmitting a programme entitled ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ in which John McCarthy presents a documentary which gives insight into the lives of those who survived captivity amongst other aspects of war.  This programme will also be broadcast on 7 November 2009.

It seems that the BBC is determained to grab the public’s attention when it comes to their Rememberance schedule for the upcoming week. One would assume that armed with a schedule so packed with both audio and visual documentaries, celebrations and first-hand interviews with those few so closely associated with the war, it certainly has the potential to be an event Remembered.