Celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day with this definitive TV guide

Sing along with Vera Lynn: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day with this definitive TV guide… plus how to make bunting and Winston Churchill’s Swiss Roll

A definitive guide to how you can enjoy the celebrations on TV on Friday


The Nation Remembers

BBC1, 11am

Nationwide two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, paying tribute to heroes past and present.

The Announcement Of Victory 

BBC1, 2.45pm

Tribute to the war generation including Churchill’s radio address from Downing Street at 3pm on May 8, 1945, announcing the end of hostilities. Celebrities will read personal testimonies from the day’s celebrations, there’ll be music by military bands, and Prince Charles will read an extract from his grandfather George VI’s diary for May 8.

The One Show

BBC1, 7pm

Hour-long special.

A definitive guide to how you can enjoy the celebrations on TV on Friday including an address from the Queen

The People’s Celebration 

BBC1, 8pm

Hosted by Sophie Raworth, an evening’s entertainment with some of Britain’s top musical talent performing songs from the 1930s and 1940s, such as Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover and When The Lights Go On Again. Artists include Katherine Jenkins, Adrian Lester, Anton Du Beke, Shane Richie and Helen George. Interviews with those who remember the day.

The Queen

BBC1, 9pm

At the exact time of day that her father, George VI, spoke to the nation in 1945, Her Majesty makes her own address. Followed by the whole country joining a singalong of We’ll Meet Again, led by Dame Vera Lynn, 103, from a window at her home in Sussex.


BBC1, 9.10pm

Sir David Attenborough, Patrick Stewart and June Whitfield, among others, share memories of the end of the conflict.

After the Queen’s address at 9pm on Friday, the nation will join a singalong of the wartime favourite made famous by Dame Vera Lynn, left. Here are the lyrics: 

We’ll meet again

We’ll meet again

Don’t know where

Don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet

again some sunny day

Keep smiling through

Just like you always do

’Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

So will you please

say ‘Hello’

To the folks that I know?

Tell them I won’t be long

They’ll be happy to know

That as you saw me go

I was singing this song

We’ll meet again

Don’t know where

Don’t know when

But I know we’ll meet

again some sunny day


Vera Lynn pictured in 1956 practising in London


ITV, 8pm, ITV

Documentary about former Army officer Captain Tom Moore, 100, just made an honorary colonel after raising more than £32 million for the NHS by doing laps of his garden. Features Tom’s time serving in India and Burma.


ITV, 8.30pm

Film remake from 2016 of the classic series, starring Toby Jones, Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones.



C5, 7pm

Eyewitness accounts and cine films of everyday life – some in colour.


The Discovery Channel, 9pm

Presented by Tony Robinson. The day retold minute by minute, from soldiers’ first tentative steps out of PoW camps to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret slipping out of Buckingham Palace to mingle unrecognised with the public.


Together TV, 9.30pm

Memories of the day from servicemen such as the PoWs who yearned for their first hot bath for years.


History UK, 9pm

Analysis of the uneasy alliance formed by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin against Hitler.


Jeremy Vine show special

Radio 2, 12pm


Classic FM, 8pm

Concert of music and words presented by Sir Nicholas Soames, who will recite famous quotes and speeches of his grandfather, Winston Churchill.


BBC Sounds podcast available from May 8

Ten-part series presented by actress Tuppence Middleton about the fighter – which played an iconic role in the Battle of Britain – and its pilots.



Today, C4, 8pm

Documentary about the experiences of everyday folk.


Tomorrow to Friday, BBC1 11.45am (different in Wales)

Sophie Raworth narrates a series comparing the Blitz spirit to how we’re now facing Covid-19.


Tomorrow to Thursday, BBC2, 7pm (6.30pm Thursday)

Four-part series on the inspirational stories of men and women who fought in or lived through the Second World War.

Churchill’s Swiss Roll 

After giving a VE Day speech, Churchill told his chef Georgina Landemare he could not have got through the war without her. Now try one of the favourite recipes she cooked for him: 


  • 130g caster sugar plus extra
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Strawberry or raspberry jam


Beat the eggs and sugar together for five minutes. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Grease and line an oblong baking sheet and spread over the mixture. Bake at 180C for eight minutes. Turn immediately on to sugared paper, trim edges. Spread with hot jam and roll up.


Tomorrow to Thursday, BBC2, various times

Series profiling the man who symbolised Britain’s war effort.


Wednesday, Yesterday channel, 8pm

Colour film footage from the streets of London, Paris and New York, as well as in villages, on VE Day.


Thursday, BBC1, 7.30pm

After the wartime singer’s recent We’ll Meet Again duet with Katherine Jenkins to raise money for the NHS went to No 1 in the iTunes chart, this film tells her remarkable life story with help from her daughter, Virginia.



Tomorrow to Friday, BBC World Service, 8.50am and 12.50am

Series including first-hand archive accounts of Hitler’s death, the Soviet occupation of Berlin and how Germany has since commemorated VE Day.


Despite the cancellation of most public events, veterans and others are holding their own celebrations.

Anyone wanting to mark the anniversary is invited to have a tea party in their home and to make a toast at 3pm on Friday: ‘To those who gave so much, we thank you.’ This will be preceded by buglers across Britain playing The Last Post and Reveille at 2.55pm.

There’s an official website – at ve-vjday75.gov.uk – offering a ‘toolkit’ of bunting templates, colouring posters, a party playlist and menu suggestions.

The English Heritage website also offers a playlist and tips to dance in Lindy Hop style.

On Friday, members of the Royal Family and Government Ministers will take part in video calls with veterans, before the Queen addresses to the nation at 9pm, followed by the We’ll Meet Again singalong.

The website ancestry.co.uk is making all historical records free for the public from tomorrow until Sunday, giving people the opportunity to find out what their ancestors did in the war.

Families are invited to share their war stories on social media with the hashtag #VEDay75.

A guide on how to make your own bunting ahead of the celebrations. There are two methods that either use sewing or glue

Winston Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe on May 8 with several speeches. This is his most poignant: 

God bless you all. This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this.

Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the unbending resolve of the British nation.

My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.

Did anyone want to give in? Were we down-hearted? The lights went out and the bombs came down. But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle.

So we came back after long months from the jaws of death, out of the mouth of hell, while all the world wondered. When shall the reputation and faith of this generation of English men and women fail? I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done and they will say, ‘do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straight forward and die if need be − unconquered’. Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle – a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy. But there is another foe who occupies large portions of the British Empire, a foe stained with cruelty and greed – the Japanese. I rejoice we can all take a night off today and another day tomorrow.

Tomorrow our great Russian allies will also be celebrating victory and after that we must begin the task of rebuilding our hearth and homes, doing our utmost to make this country a land in which all have a chance, in which all have a duty, and we must turn ourselves to fulfil our duty to our own countrymen, and to our gallant allies of the United States who were so foully and treacherously attacked by Japan.

We will go hand and hand with them. Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives his trademark victory sign from the balcony of the Ministry of Health on May 8, 1945

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