Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Benedict Cumberbatch reads D-day bulletin on Radio 4

untitled-1.jpg
rexfeatures-229066c.jpg
rexfeatures-3791630b.jpg

Those that tuned into Radio 4 this morning would have been greeted by the sonorous timbre of Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Sherlock star, 37, marked today's 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy by reading out the original radio news script from that historic day on 6 June, 1944.

The bulletin was broadcast on the Today programme at 8am, the same time of day as the BBC's original transmission on the invasion 70 years ago.

The original broadcast provided British listeners with the first news that the long-anticipated Operation Overlord - the Allied offensive against Nazi-occupied mainland Europe - had begun, changing the course of the war and the landscape of 20th Century Europe forever.

Gwyneth Williams, Radio 4 controller, described it as "a day that carries, in memory, unimaginable burdens for a nation".

Troops reach the beaches of Normandy during D-day, 1944

Cumberbatch's broadcast is one of a number of news bulletins that have been re-recorded by the BBC and that will continue to be broadcast on Radio 4 until 9pm on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary.

The BBC broadcast its first "eye-witness report from above the battlefield of France" during its 1pm radio news on 6 June, 1944, in a transmission sent back by an air commodore William Helmore from a plane that had returned from its mission to bomb a railway bridge.

Crossing the English Channel, he reported that it was busier "up here than Piccadilly Circus" with the air "full of aircraft of all kinds going and coming."

"I've just seen a great flock of our invasion fleet," he added, of the view in the Channel below.

World leaders including President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, the Queen and Russian President Vladimir Putin are joining hundreds of veterans in Normandy today for a re-enactment of the landings and a memorial service to the 4,413 Allied troops who died on the day of the invasion.

Come listen to Cumberbatch's broadcast, below.

Photos: Rex Features

Related

rexfeatures-3363448a.jpg

Hidden Europe: the best secret travel locations in Britain, Spain, Italy and more

hero-use.jpg

How to overcome failure: top tips, quotes and motivational advice

hero-use-this.jpg

A tale of two Cleopatras: we chart the uncannily similar lives of Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie

salcombe.jpg

Revel in Britain's most luxurious spa retreats

hero.jpg

Father's Day Gift Guide

hero.jpg

This summer's best beach books and holiday reads

Comments

More

Lily Allen reveals she suffered from PTSD following son's stillbirth

She was attacked online trolls shortly after the admission

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Watch the hilarious 2017 Oscars edition of Celebrity Mean Tweets

“Go f**k yourself, Ryan Gosling”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Emma Stone has her say on that awkward La La Land mix up

“I don’t mean to start stuff, but…”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

The best non-romantic couples at the 2017 Oscars

From friends, to mums, to siblings

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Why ‘The Salesman’ speech was one of the most important of the Oscars

Iranian-American Anouseh Ansari delivered a powerful critique of Trump’s travel ban on behalf of director Asghar Farhadi.

by Moya Crockett
27 Feb 2017

Jennifer Aniston tears up as she remembers lost friends at the Oscars

“All were loved, and all will be missed”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Viola Davis’ empowering speech completely stole the show at the Oscars

She’s the first black actor to win an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

The best behind-the-scenes Instagrams from the Oscars 2017

Pre-party pampering, post-win celebrations and obligatory bathroom selfies

by Moya Crockett
27 Feb 2017

Emma Stone uses Oscars 2017 dress to make powerful feminist statement

The Best Actress winner decided it was time to get political on the red carpet

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Feb 2017

Helen Mirren on lacking confidence and self-esteem

“I thought I looked stupid when I smiled”

by Amy Swales
24 Feb 2017