The Format

1 x 1 Hour Documentary
Saturday 18th March, 9pm

The Premise

A celebratory look back on the life of Dame Vera Lynn, as she turns 100 years old in March 2017.

Dame Vera Lynn is a national treasure, Forces Sweetheart and war-time icon with sixteen charting singles and 22 original albums.

This one hour programme presented by Katie Derham, is a happy birthday tribute celebrating the life and work of Dame Vera Lynn, which includes exclusive access to Dame Vera Lynn as she watches home movies, archive and cine films from the past with her daughter Virginia.

It tells the story of a working class girl from Essex who changed the lives of so many – her own life spanning a whole century – singing at 7 to help pay the family bills, falling accidentally into the limelight and still singing right up to today.

Dame Vera can’t read music. She’s never had singing lessons and even refused to change her singing style to fit in with the fashions of the day. Yet she sang at the Queen’s 16th birthday and calls the royal family her friends.

Meet the war heroes whose hearts she touched as her songs and radio broadcasts were played on the Frontline, and find out how celebrities like Miriam Margolyes, Barry Humphries, Tim Rice and Sir Paul McCartney are still moved by Dame Vera’s voice today.

Discover why she’s a national treasure and see her humility shine through as we look at the life of one of the world’s greatest female singers.

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday was broadcast on BBC Two at 9pm, March 18th 2017. It received over 2.2 million viewers and an 11.6% share of the total audience, making it the top programme on BBC Two that day.