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Gary Lineker: My Grandad’s War - BBC1

Gary with a campaign veteran
(Image credit: BBC/Wall to Wall/Jack Coathupe)

Gary Lineker travels to Italy to look at an often overlooked, but bloodily decisive, World War Two campaign

To mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Gary Lineker makes a personal journey to Italy to explore his late grandad, Stanley Abbs’, experience of World War Two (Monday, 9pm, see our TV Guide for full details).

Curious as to why Stanley never talked about his time in Italy, serving as a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps, Gary soon understands why – hearing first-hand from veterans how relentless and brutal the Italian campaign was.

MORE: Gary Lineker hosts Match of the Day in his undies

Reminding us this was a war fought on many fronts, he uncovers the sacrifices the Italians made to ensure the Allies' victory in WW2, and also explores why some veterans were incorrectly dubbed “D-Day Dodgers”.

Gary in front of a dramatic reconstruction

Gary features in a dramatic reconstruction of the war zone in Italy

Gary told TV Times how he came to make the programme: “I first discovered his story when filming Who Do You Think You Are?," says Gary.

“But there were so many stories to cover, they didn’t have chance to feature it.

“Then the same production company asked me to make a documentary about my grandfather’s time in the war and I knew it was something I had to do.

“I don’t remember my grandad ever speaking about his experiences in the war – it was grim, so I understand why.

“But after doing a bit of research on the Italian campaign, I realised that others might not know much – if anything – about this time in World War Two.

"It’s a story that hasn’t been told as frequently as D-day and I wanted to see what my grandad and thousands like him did for our country."

TV Times rating: ****