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New D-Day documentary series to air in 2024

In a unique commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a groundbreaking documentary series is set to air in 2024.

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Provisionally titled D-Day: The Unheard Tapes, this series aims to relive the landmark day of modern warfare through audiotapes of those who experienced the invasion first-hand.

This series is a joint venture for BBC Two, iPlayer, and The History Channel, in collaboration with The Open University and Imperial War Museums.

On 6 June 1944, approximately 156,000 Allied troops landed in Normandy in what remains the largest seaborne invasion in history, a pivotal moment that significantly influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The documentary focuses on the experiences of the young men and women at the heart of this event, many of whose stories have been unheard until now.

Spanning three parts, the documentary draws upon original interviews with British, American, German soldiers, and French witnesses. These oral histories, sourced from museums, university archives, and private collections, include previously un-digitised material, offering a new perspective on this historic event.

The series adopts an innovative approach by featuring young actors lip-syncing to the original audio recordings, blending this with archival footage and documentary-style reenactments. This technique aims to bring the story of D-Day to life in a manner never seen before.

Simon Young, Head of History, BBC Factual Commissioning, said: “This is a genuinely fresh and innovative way in to one of the most iconic periods in modern history. D-Day didn’t happen in black and white, nor was it a one-sided tale of Allied genius.

“By bringing the events of that day to life with real words recast as interview testimony, this series brings us closer to those men and women who lived through it. The series will be part of a wider raft of BBC programming to commemorate the final months of World War Two, allowing modern viewers a new opportunity to connect with our past.”

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Morgana Pugh, Executive Producer, Wall to Wall, added: “Many months of dedicated research have enabled us to discover a series of powerful interviews recorded with those who fought on D-Day, sourced from around the world.

In previously unheard and deeply personal stories, the real voices of those who took part in the Normandy landings will lead us through their own unique experiences; from mission reveal to the landings and beyond. Actors lip syncing veterans’ real voices will bring us closer to our contributors, as they tell the story of their D-Day in their own words, in all its raw and revealing detail.”

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