Benedict Cumberbatch enlisted to give Radio 4 listeners a taste of D-Day as it happened

Radio 4, in digital times, can open its treasure trove of a website and bring original radio scripts to life, recreating that day in greater intensity and immediacy for a new generation.Gwyneth Williams, Controller, Radio 4
Date: 05.06.2014     Last updated: 05.06.2014 at 18.59
Category: Radio 4; Radio; News
To mark the publication of over 200 pages of archive radio bulletin scripts from D-Day on the BBC Radio 4 website for the first time, three leading actors will be appearing on Radio 4 to give a unique taste of what listeners were hearing 70 years ago as the D-Day landings got under way.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones and Patrick Stewart will be heard on Radio 4’s news programmes – including Today, The World At One, PM and The World Tonight – voicing selected extracts from the scripts on the website.

The special bulletins will be featured across Radio 4’s regular news programmes as close as possible to the time of their original transmission in 1944. These commemorative reports will begin on Today on D-Day itself (6 June), and will continue across the weekend, finishing on Sunday with Broadcasting House and The World this Weekend.

The 200 pages of Home Service D-Day broadcasts are published on the Radio 4 website, which will also feature the new recordings alongside the original scripts, many of them annotated by the writers and readers of the day. Among the dispatches are fascinating correspondent reports from land, air and sea, including accounts from Richard Dimbleby and Frank Gillard.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller, Radio 4, says: “A day of deep significance; a day that carries, in memory, unimaginable burdens for a nation. I am delighted to offer Radio 4 listeners this opportunity to understand D-Day anew. And not just through the broadcasts but now, Radio 4, in digital times, can open its treasure trove of a website and bring original radio scripts to life, recreating that day in greater intensity and immediacy for a new generation.”

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