VJ Day 75 line up for BBC One special with Sheridan Smith, Hugh Bonneville and more

BBC will broadcast two special programmes this Saturday to mark VJ Day 75.

Saturday 15 August 2020 marks 75 years since victory over Japan, the moment that finally brought the Second World War to an end.

In the evening on BBC One (8.30-10pm) at London’s Horse Guards Parade the story of all those that served in the Far East will be told in VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute.

Narrated by Joanna Lumley, whose father was an officer with the 6th Gurkha Rifles, the event will chart the crucial campaign that led to the end of the Second World War. Key moments of the conflicts will be reflected through readings and musical performances.

Sheridan Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Paterson Joseph and Martin Shaw will bring to life well-known and influential figures of the Second World War. Also appearing will be Nicola Roberts, Sir Bryn Terfel, Braimah Kanneh-Mason, Sir Willard White and Ruby Turner.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge will pay tribute to the veterans and acknowledge the sacrifices made by so many for our freedom.

Earlier in the day, (9.30-11.30am) BBC One will come live from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for VJ Day 75: The Nation Remembers.

Host Sophie Raworth will hear from guests who will be discussing the significance of this anniversary and from veterans who remember leaving home for an unknown country and an unknown enemy and how it feels to be known as the ‘forgotten army.’

Dan Snow will speak to those preparing to participate in the commemoration, many of whom will have personal links to VJ Day. Fergal Keane will provide commentary of the event, and a national two minutes silence will be led by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content, said: “The 75th anniversary of VJ Day is an opportunity to unify the nation in remembrance and to reflect on the peace that victory enabled.

“It’s fitting that the BBC will bring audiences together for this anniversary of such national significance, which will have a new resonance as we begin to emerge from lockdown.”

You can watch on BBC One and iPlayer.