BBC to air special Dame Vera Lynn tribute programme tonight

Dame Vera Lynn
(Image credit: PA)

Sir Cliff Richard described her as a 'true icon'. BBC1 will screen special at 7.30pm

The BBC is to air a special tribute show this evening to Dame Vera Lynn, who has died aged 103.

The programme - see our TV Guide for full listings - will remember the Forces’ Sweetheart, whose famous songs helped raise morale during World War Two.

Vera Lynn, rehearsing in London for her new radio show in 1956

Dame Vera Lynn rehearsing for a radio show in 1956 (credit PA) (Image credit: PA)

Announcing the special, Tony Hall, the BBC Director-General said: “What sad news. Not only was she dear to many, she was a symbol of hope during the war and is a part of our national story.

“She appeared on the BBC many times and had her own variety show in the 1960s and early 1970s.

“She demonstrated how music and entertainment can bring joy in the most challenging times.

“Something that will resonate with many people today. The BBC will be showing a special tribute programme tonight.”

Tributes have poured in for Dame Vera Lynn, including from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He said: “Her voice will live on to lift the hearts of generations to come.”

Sir Cliff Richard described her as a “true icon”. Talking about his favourite memory of being with Dame Vera Lynn, Cliff recalled sharing a stage with her in front of Buckingham Palace in 1995.

He remembered: “We walked to the stage through a crowd of survivors of that war, and they were reaching out to touch and get a smile from Vera.

“I heard the words… ‘God bless you’ … ‘Thank you’… ‘We love you’ for their very own Forces’ Sweetheart!”

What time is the Dame Vera Lynn tribute show on BBC1 tonight?

The BBC tribute show announcement has meant a change in tonight’s schedule.

The BBC has now announced it will be screened at 7.30pm.

Vera Lynn died on Thursday morning surrounded by her family, a statement from the family revealed.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

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David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

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