Captain Sir Tom Moore will feature in the televised Festival of Remembrance and said it is “incredibly important” to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Second World War veteran and NHS fundraiser said it is a “real shame” that people cannot gather as normal to mark the occasion, “but in these challenging times we need to act appropriately and find other ways to show our respect”.
BBC programming in Remembrance Week will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
On BBC One, Huw Edwards will present the annual Festival of Remembrance, this time with social distancing, from the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Samantha Morton will be among the stage and screen stars reading wartime testimonies, while Sir Tom, who raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden, will discuss “his inspirational achievements and what remembrance means to him”.
The Duchess of Cornwall will give a personal tribute to the work of military and civilian nurses during the pandemic, in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, to be broadcast on Saturday November 7, will reflect veterans’ first-hand experiences of service in Europe and the Far East.
On marking Remembrance Day, Sir Tom said: “It’s incredibly important as it is a day to remember that, were it not for the ultimate sacrifices made all those years ago by such a brave band of men and women, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we have today, even in these current difficult times.”
He added that every year he sends a poppy cross to the British Legion memorial in London with the words “This could be me”, and he wears a poppy each year.
On services not being able to happen as normal, Sir Tom said: “Obviously it is a real shame as I appreciate many people look forward to marking the occasion by standing shoulder to shoulder, but in these challenging times we need to act appropriately and find other ways to show our respect.”
He said that on Remembrance Day he will think of “all those who have given their service to our country”.
As part of the Festival of Remembrance, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Mica Paris, Freya Ridings and Marisha Wallace will perform alongside military musicians from the armed forces.
“The event will culminate in the act of remembrance, and as the poppy petals fall in the Royal Albert Hall, the festival will pay tribute to all victims of war and remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedoms and way of life,” the BBC said.
BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “I am proud of the role the BBC plays every year in marking Remembrance.
“This year is particularly significant, as we gather remotely to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and pay tribute to their lives.”
Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said: “Every year, the BBC brings the nation together to mark Remembrance, to reflect and honour those who sacrificed their lives.
“This year, our role has never been more important as we bring the country together with programming across TV and radio, and the annual Festival of Remembrance, which will pay tribute to all victims of war.”
On Sunday November 8, David Dimbleby will present live coverage from The Cenotaph on BBC One.
Members of the royal family, the Government, veterans and the armed forces will gather in Westminster for the National Service of Remembrance.
The two-minute silence at 11am will be followed by wreath-laying.
On Wednesday November 11, Edwards presents live coverage from Westminster Abbey.
The event will commemorate Armistice Day with the 100th anniversary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior and will be attended by Charles and Camilla.