Friday 8th May marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and Banbury’s hospital, health and wellbeing radio station has teamed up with Absolute Radio to bring you an exclusive four hour programme on their pop-up radio station, Absolute Radio 40s, with thanks to the Audio Content Fund.
Anchored by broadcasters including Dave Berry, Jason Manford, Leona Graham and Claire Sturgess, listeners are invited to be taken back to the 1940s to celebrate VE Day, with archive interviews, news bulletins and first-hand accounts from veterans and their families.
Listeners will be treated to music from names including Dame Vera Lynn, Billie Holliday, The Andrews Sisters, Judy Garland, Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Gracie Fields, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey. We’ll also be hearing veterans tell their stories and from the charities and organisations which help those who were impacted.
On sharing the programme with hospital, health and wellbeing broadcasting organisations, Paul Sylvester, Absolute Radio’s Content Director said in a statement to the Hospital Broadcasting Association: “As a nation, we must embrace that wartime spirit right now as we manoeuvre through these difficult times. At Absolute Radio we wanted to do something special for VE Day and we’re proud to be swapping Foo Fighters for Vera Lynn for one day only. Our aim is to reach as many people as possible who are self-isolating and whose celebrations have been postponed.”
Paul Sylvester referred to his personal experience with hospital radio, and why he felt it was important to share this programme with hospital, health and wellbeing radio stations: “As many of you know, hospital radio means a massive amount to me personally (thanks to my time at Scunthorpe Hospital Radio) and I wanted to be able to reach out and use our platform to share this project with you and your audiences.”
“I hope you and your listeners enjoy the show, the music, the stories and that it adds to your already brilliant programming. Until we meet again – stay safe, take care, big love and thanks for your work in entertaining the patients.”
With the current Coronavirus crisis impacting the planned nationwide celebrations, the programme will include music from across the decade, making it the UK’s biggest virtual self-isolation street party.
Radio Horton Trustee, Sam Smette said: “Our listeners are in for a real treat tomorrow. We are delighted to be simulcasting this programme from our friends at Absolute Radio, a household station across the UK. Sharing these powerful and emotional stories from our veterans is crucial and it is important that the media plays its part in captivating listeners, bringing them a real sense of the history and music from the era.”
“We have also been working with BBC Radio Oxford to share some of their content to our listeners during these challenging times and are working on our fantastic joint venture with the team from Voices Across Time, producing an exclusive programme for local care homes.”
Listeners can hear the programme tomorrow, VE Day, Friday 8th May 2020 from 11:00.