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31 July 2014
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D-Day on the BBC
D-Day - a major two hour drama-documentary on BBC ONE

D-Day on the BBC




Introduction - 60 years on, the BBC brings D-Day alive across the nation


D-Day was the battle the Allies could not afford to lose. The assault was so huge and daring that to this day the term D-Day is synonymous with an event of 'make or break' significance.

 

The attack, by 156,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944, was the beginning of the end of World War Two – more than two million servicemen and women took part in the planning and execution of the campaign.

 

Sixty years on, the BBC is marking the anniversary with a broad range of programmes, events and interactive activities across the nation, including an online archive of people's war memories which will create a unique and permanent heritage for future generations.

 

BBC ONE offers viewers D-Day - a major two-hour drama-documentary which tells the extraordinary tales of those Allied and enemy comrades and soldiers involved in both the secret planning for D-Day and the reality of conflict for Allied and enemy soldiers fighting on the beaches of Normandy.

 

The war-time tale continues with D-Day To Berlin, a three-part series which examines the strategic decisions taken by Montgomery and Eisenhower in the 11 months following D-Day that were to shape the new, post-war Europe.

 

Huw Edwards anchors BBC ONE's live coverage of the D-Day commemoration events in Normandy, including a special service at the war graves at Bayeux and the emotional march past of 8,000 British veterans at Arromanches.

 

In the week leading up to 6 June, he presents a special daily programme from Southwick House – the very room where the final stages of the D-Day campaign were planned.

 

He'll be talking to special guests and veterans about the build-up to D-Day and its aftermath.

 

BBC News also marks the anniversary, with a series of reports on BBC Breakfast from Normandy and the UK, and extensive coverage on the main bulletins.

 

There are also a number of religious programmes including Choral Vespers direct from Caen in Normandy.

 

Radio 4 tells the story of the build-up to D-day, from the deliberations of the politicians and military through to the everyday experiences of civilians.

 

Book Of The Week, the Woman's Hour Drama and Any Questions? begin the coverage, leading into the day-long programming which includes From Dunkirk To D-Day, presented by Charles Wheeler, who landed on the beaches of Normandy with a secret naval intelligence unit 60 years ago.

 

Other programmes include two major dramas, The Biggest Secret and The Long Wait and a two-hour documentary, The People's D-Day.

 

BBCi offers digital viewers the facts and personal stories behind D-Day and a count-down to 6 June, with the chance to watch veterans' personal testimonies.

 

There is also an exciting interactive mission using mobile phone technology, in which players take on the role of a secret agent in the Special Operations Executive using encoded text messages.

 

As a lasting legacy to the nation, the BBC's People's War website - bbc.co.uk/ww2 - continues to capture and preserve the personal and family stories of the people who lived and fought in World War Two.

 

It can be accessed via bbc.co.uk/ww2 and is still looking for military or homefront memories - every account is vital.

 

Interactive movies, maps, articles and galleries on bbc.co.uk/history provide a compelling historical narrative to the events of D-Day and World War Two.


D-Day on the BBC also includes a wide range of regional output, from documentaries and news coverage to magazine programmes and phone-ins, both on radio and television.

 

There are also a series of World War Two roadshows being organised by the BBC at key museum sites, where visitors will be able to share their wartime experiences, meet veterans, view films and attend lectures and talks.

 

The BBC's unique contribution to D-Day will be marked this June at the Chateau of Creuilly near Bayeux, where it broadcast daily reports of the Normandy Campaign in 1944.

 

BBC dignatories will be presenting an original BBC crystal radio set to the museum, which now occupies the chateau.



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