Land Girls Second World War Anniversary Special

New daytime programmes form part of BBC’s commemoration of 70th anniversary of start of Second World War

New period drama for the autumn, Land Girls, starring Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) and Christine Bottomley (Hope Springs), will be stripped across one week at 5.15pm as a one-off special event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.

Land Girls, which is Daytime’s first commissioned period drama, has been scheduled by BBC Daytime Controller Liam Keelan.

He says: “I’m delighted to be able to place Land Girls at this time of the day as part of a unique week of programming.

“We hope to pay tribute, not only to the many lives that were lost in the Second World War, but also to the land girls who played such an important role on the home front. We hope it’ll be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”

The five-part series marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War with a stellar cast line-up which also includes Sophie Ward (Holby City), Summer Strallen (Hollyoaks), and Mark Benton (The Street).

The drama follows the lives and loves of four girls away from home, striving to do their bit for Britain in the Women’s Land Army (WLA), while trying to come to terms with the fact that their lives may never be the same again.

To accompany the drama in BBC One Daytime, Michael Aspel joins host Katherine Jenkins each day as a guest on The Week We Went to War to talk about his war-time experience as a child.

The week-long series of special programmes will centre on everyday heroes, from families who took in evacuees, to ordinary people who ran into bombed buildings to save their neighbours.

Celebrities including Shirley Williams, Tony Benn, Lionel Blair, Rabbi Lionel Blue, Sylvia Syms and Leslie Phillips will also share their memories of growing up in London during the war.

These programmes are part of the BBC’s programming marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, which also includes BBC One’s The One Show which is running six special commemorative reports with the last one being shown on 1 September.

BBC Learning will be supporting the season with Heroes Of The Home Front (working title), a project aimed at school children aged seven to 12 throughout the UK.

On BBC Radio 4, Peter Snow presents a Random Edition special focusing on Britain’s first day of war in 1939.

Sally Magnusson and genealogist Nick Barrett start the new series of Tracing Your Roots by exploring how to locate and search Second World War archives to discover the fate of soldiers and civilians who, during the course of the war, simply disappeared from their families’ lives.

There is more on both these Radio 4 programmes in BBC Network Radio Programme Information Week 35.

The BBC Archive will release a new online collection exploring the outbreak of the Second World War featuring radio recordings and documents from the period.

Land Girls (BBC Birmingham) and The Week We Went to War (Finestripe for BBC Daytime) are scheduled for transmission on BBC One in the week commencing Monday 7 September.

Land Girls is scheduled for a weekend repeat slot and both series will be available to view on BBC iPlayer.

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