Chris Evans hosts a spectacular concert staged at the iconic Horse Guards Parade in London, forming the centrepiece of the national celebrations for the 70th anniversary of VE Day. From the declaration of war through to the celebrations on VE Day, the show captures and reflects the spirit and mood of the nation at that time. Songs from the period are performed by artists including Alexander Armstrong, Alfie Boe, Blue, Chas & Dave, Collabro, Elaine Paige, Gregory Porter, Katherine Jenkins, Laura Wright, Pixie Lott, Rebecca Ferguson and Status Quo, many of whom will be accompanied by the live big band. Diversity and the Strictly Come Dancing Professionals also take to the stage to perform two show-stopping dance tributes to the era. This special event includes live readings by well-known actors and actresses including Adrian Lester, Bernard Cribbins, Colin Salmon, Honeysuckle Weeks, Ian Lavender, Jane Horrocks, Julia Sawalha, Laurence Fox, Martin Shaw, Richard E Grant and Robert Lindsay as well as short films featuring archive from the time, contributions from individuals who experienced life during the war and other specially shot material. The concert, which is taking place in association with the Royal British Legion, is attended by thousands of members of the public as well as a contingent of World War Two veterans and two Spitfires.
70 years ago today, prime minister Winston Churchill announced that the war had finally ended in Europe and victory was declared. To mark the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, a service of remembrance takes place at the Cenotaph in London, observing a national two-minute silence at 3pm.
Jazz Icons: Anita O’Day boasts two wonderful concerts from 1963 and 1970 that present the “jazz singer supreme” in impeccable form. O’Day’s horn-based approach to singing is in full effect throughout both shows including stand-out renditions in each show of audience favorites “Tea For Two” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” (both reprised from her triumphant appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.) This DVD is a fitting testimony to one of jazz music’s true originals and shows unequivocally why she is ranked in the top tier of vocalists along with Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday.