Radio 4 to recreate 1944 news bulletins
BBC Radio 4 has recruited Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones and Patrick Stewart to read out archive radio bulletins from 1944.
The special programming marks the publication of over 200 pages of archive radio bulletin scripts from D-Day on the BBC Radio 4 website, giving listeners a taste of what happened 70 years ago as the D-Day landings got under way.
Benedict, Toby and Patrick will be heard on Radio 4’s news programmes – including Today, The World At One, PM and The World Tonight – voicing selected extracts from the scripts on the website.
The special bulletins will be featured across Radio 4’s regular news programmes as close as possible to the time of their original transmission in 1944. These commemorative reports will begin on Today on D-Day itself (today – 6 June), and will continue across the weekend, finishing on Sunday with Broadcasting House and The World this Weekend.
The 200 pages of Home Service D-Day broadcasts are published on the Radio 4 website, which will also feature the new recordings alongside the original scripts, many of them annotated by the writers and readers of the day. Among the dispatches are reports from land, air and sea, including accounts from Richard Dimbleby and Frank Gillard.
Gwyneth Williams, Controller, Radio 4, says: “A day of deep significance; a day that carries, in memory, unimaginable burdens for a nation. I am delighted to offer Radio 4 listeners this opportunity to understand D-Day anew. And not just through the broadcasts but now, Radio 4, in digital times, can open its treasure trove of a website and bring original radio scripts to life, recreating that day in greater intensity and immediacy for a new generation.”