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

Susanna Reid clashes with Piers Morgan about stretch marks

Reid's body-positive comments were shut down by Morgan.

by Hayley Spencer
26 Apr 2017

Beyoncé is offering to pay for women to go to university

She'll be paying the way for four Formation scholars

by Hayley Spencer
26 Apr 2017

Emma Watson on “incredibly dangerous” social media

“I set even more boundaries than I had before”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

Brie Larson: Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence “saved my life”

“That support was everything”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smashes another space record

Can we be her when we grow up?

by Amy Swales
25 Apr 2017

Blake Lively says there is a silver lining to Trump's presidency

She thinks there is a silver lining to Trump's time in office

by Hayley Spencer
25 Apr 2017

Donald Trump ‘made Melania swear to get her body back’ post-childbirth

Shocking, but not that surprising

by Moya Crockett
25 Apr 2017

Margot Robbie to star as iconic member of the Royal Family

Her new movie is all about royally powerful women

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Apr 2017

Serena Williams responds to racist remarks about her unborn child

The shocking comments were made by one of her fellow tennis pros

by Moya Crockett
25 Apr 2017

Debbie Harry on why she removed all the mirrors from her house

“The world made such a big deal of how I looked”

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Apr 2017