Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday

A birthday tribute celebrating the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn, including exclusive access to Dame Vera as she watches home movies and videos from the past with her daughter.

This one-hour programme is a birthday tribute celebrating the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn, including exclusive access to Dame Vera as she watches home movies and videos from the past with her daughter Virginia. It tells the story of a working-class girl from Essex who changed the lives of so many and whose career spanned a whole century - singing at seven to help pay the family bills, falling accidentally into the limelight and still singing right up to today.

Dame Vera can't read music. She has never had singing lessons and even refused to change her singing style to fit in with the fashions of the day. Yet she sang at the Queen's sixteenth birthday and calls the royal family her friends. We meet the war heroes whose hearts she touched as she brought memories from Britain to the front line and find out how celebrities like Miriam Margolyes, Barry Humphries, Tim Rice and Sir Paul McCartney are still touched by Dame Vera's voice.

We discover why she is a national treasure and see her humility shine through - she really can't understand what all the fuss is about, despite being one of the greatest female singers this country has ever produced.

59 minutes

Last on

Christmas Day 2017 16:25

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:04

    Vera Lynn

    Wishing (feat. Fęlá Şowándé)

  • 00:09

    Vera Lynn

    If You Love Me (I Won't Care)

  • 00:11

    Vera Lynn

    Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire

  • 00:12

    Vera Lynn

    Harbour Lights

  • 00:13

    Vera Lynn

    Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye

  • 00:14

    Vera Lynn

    Close Your Eyes

  • 00:18

    Vera Lynn

    There's a Land of Begin Again

  • 00:22

    Vera Lynn

    The Loveliest Night of The Year

  • 00:24

    Vera Lynn

    Faraway Places

  • 00:24

    Vera Lynn

    Dream

  • 00:30

    Vera Lynn

    Show Me The Way

  • 00:31

    Vera Lynn

    I'll Wait For You

  • 00:33

    Vera Lynn

    When They Sound The Last 'All Clear'

  • 00:34

    Vera Lynn

    There'll Always Be an England

  • 00:38

    Vera Lynn

    White Cliffs Of Dover

  • 00:40

    Vera Lynn

    When You Hear Big Ben

  • 00:42

    Vera Lynn

    Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart

  • 00:55

    Katherine Jenkins & Vera Lynn

    We'll Meet Again

    Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • 00:41

    Vera Lynn

    When I Grow Too Old To Dream

  • 00:57

    Vera Lynn

    I Am Loved

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Katie Derham
Participant Vera Lynn
Interviewed Guest Fergus Anckorn
Interviewed Guest Roy Welland
Interviewed Guest Stan Holland
Interviewed Guest Ben Evans
Interviewed Guest Paul McCartney
Interviewed Guest Barry Humphries
Interviewed Guest Tim Rice
Interviewed Guest Miriam Margolyes
Interviewed Guest Virginia Lewis-Jones
Camera Operator Joe Taylor
Camera Operator Ian Potts
Camera Operator Tom Sweetland
Sound Sam Diamond
On-line editing Tom Knowles
Graphic Designer Mitch Wood
Production Coordinator Sharlyna Wolfsheimer
Production Manager Alex Barraki
Assistant Producer Jessie Potts
Film Editor Tim Thompsett
Executive Producer Liz Mills
Producer Sue Hills
Director Sue Hills
Production Company Captive Minds

Broadcasts

More from Dame Vera Lynn at BBC Music

More from Dame Vera Lynn at BBC Music

Clips, news stories and a profile of the iconic British singer.