Booking.com

Sheridan Smith wipes away tears as she listens to emotional tributes on VJ Day 75

UK News

Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she listened to emotional tributes from veterans during BBC‘s VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute on Saturday night.

The occasion marks three quarters of a century on from the formal end of the Second World War, which ceased when Japan surrendered. 

The actress and singer, 39, led the star performances on the evening as she read out a memoir from the late Dame Vera Lynn and sang a medley of her songs.

Tearful: Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she listened to emotional tributes from veterans during BBC's VJ Day 75: The Nation's Tribute on Saturday night

Tearful: Sheridan Smith fought back tears as she listened to emotional tributes from veterans during BBC’s VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute on Saturday night

Moments before wowing audiences with a collection of Vera’s wartime classics, including iconic track We’ll Meet Again, Sheridan was seen wiping away tears as the war veterans recalled their memories.

The commemorative programme was hosted by Joanna Lumley, who led viewers through a host of tributes from former servicemen and celebrities at Horse Guards Parade.

Announcing Sheridan’s segment, Joanna told viewers: ‘Dame Vera Lynn will be remembered for her contributions to the second world war, but she also has a special place in the hearts of those in the far east.’

Sheridan then read out one of Dame Vera’s diary entries from the period, which recalled her time in Burma during the war.

Wow: Nicola Roberts, 34, showcased her powerful vocals on the night, as she sang The Captive's Hymn

Wow: Nicola Roberts, 34, showcased her powerful vocals on the night, as she sang The Captive’s Hymn 

Tributes: The programme included many tributes from former servicemen

Tributes: The programme included many tributes from former servicemen

Wow: The Cilla actress wowed as she donned a shimmering silver sequinned gown by Jacques Azagury which exuded old Hollywood glamour

Wow: The Cilla actress wowed as she donned a shimmering silver sequinned gown by Jacques Azagury which exuded old Hollywood glamour

Dame Vera, who died in June aged 103, spoke of how she sung her heart out in the jungle and concentrated on singing with as much feeling as he could, after experiencing their horrendous living conditions.

The Cilla actress wowed as she donned a shimmering silver sequinned gown by Jacques Azagury which exuded old Hollywood glamour. 

The gorgeous dress featured elegant flared sleeves and cinched in at her waist with a silver satin sash.

Sheridan, who welcomed her first child in May, revealed her bronzed legs courtesy of the gown’s thigh-high split.

All that glitters: The gorgeous dress featured elegant flared sleeves and cinched in at her waist with a silver satin sash

All that glitters: The gorgeous dress featured elegant flared sleeves and cinched in at her waist with a silver satin sash

Sheridan wore her blonde tresses in a wavy updo while her pretty features were enhanced with a radiant palette of make-up. 

Both Sheridan and Nicola took to their respective social media platforms to thank the BBC for including them in the VJ Day special.

Quoting a tweet from the BBC, Sheridan wrote: ‘Thank you for having me, an absolute privilege to be involved x. 

Thank you: Quoting a tweet from the BBC, Sheridan wrote: 'Thank you for having me, an absolute privilege to be involved x'

Thank you: Quoting a tweet from the BBC, Sheridan wrote: ‘Thank you for having me, an absolute privilege to be involved x’

Can't wait! Meanwhile, Nicola earlier in the day said: 'Can't wait to see the whole programme tonight. VJ Day The Nation's Tribute'

Can’t wait! Meanwhile, Nicola earlier in the day said: ‘Can’t wait to see the whole programme tonight. VJ Day The Nation’s Tribute’

Meanwhile, Nicola earlier in the day said: ‘Can’t wait to see the whole programme tonight. VJ Day The Nation’s Tribute.’

Other performances during the evening included one from Jamaican singer Ruby Turner, who sang a stunning rendition of Now Is The Hour.

Sir Bryn Terfel also wowed audiences with his version of Homeward Bound while Sir Willard White performed You’ll Never Walk Alone.

Emotional: Tributes: Moments before wowing audiences with a collection of Vera's wartime classics, including iconic track We'll Meet Again, Sheridan was seen wiping away tears as she listened to tributes from war veterans

Emotional: Tributes: Moments before wowing audiences with a collection of Vera’s wartime classics, including iconic track We’ll Meet Again, Sheridan was seen wiping away tears as she listened to tributes from war veterans

Presenter: The commemorative programme was hosted by Joanna Lumley, who led viewers who a host of tributes from former servicemen and celebrities

Presenter: The commemorative programme was hosted by Joanna Lumley, who led viewers who a host of tributes from former servicemen and celebrities

Glam: Nicola brought glamour to the event in a form-fitting bronze dress, while she wore her flame-hued locks loose with a shimmering pallet of make-up

Glam: Nicola brought glamour to the event in a form-fitting bronze dress, while she wore her flame-hued locks loose with a shimmering pallet of make-up

Nicola Roberts, 34, showcased her powerful vocals on the night, as she sang The Captive’s Hymn, which was composed by Margaret Dryburgh in the Palembang ‘houses’ camp in 1942.

The song was first sung by herself, Shelagh Brown and Dorothy MacLeod at a Sunday service and then every Sunday even throughout their later years in captivity when they encountered suffering and death all around them.

Nicola brought glamour to the event in a form-fitting bronze dress, while she wore her flame-hued locks loose with a shimmering pallet of make-up. 

Hostess: Joanna wore an embellished dress and jacket for her presenting duties

Hostess: Joanna wore an embellished dress and jacket for her presenting duties

Breathtaking: Other performances during the evening included one from Jamaican singer Ruby Turner, who sang a stunning rendition of Now Is The Hour

Breathtaking: Other performances during the evening included one from Jamaican singer Ruby Turner, who sang a stunning rendition of Now Is The Hour

Proceedings: The VJ Day special was held at Horse Guards Parade in London

Proceedings: The VJ Day special was held at Horse Guards Parade in London

During the show, Hugh Bonneville left fans aghast during the BBC broadcast for the celebrations as he continued to show off his recent weight loss.

Hugh took to the balcony in a black suit and straight green tie as he read out King George VI’s speech to mark the occasion. 

And it was not long until social media was flooded with praise for his fresh look.

One commented: ‘Hugh Bonneville looking gorgeous for VJ Day.’

Wow! Hugh Bonneville sent fans into a frenzy as he continued to showcase his phenomenal weight loss while commemorating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Wow! Hugh Bonneville sent fans into a frenzy as he continued to showcase his phenomenal weight loss while commemorating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day

Another wrote: ‘Jesus Hugh Bonneville has lost a shed load of weight #VJDay75.’

And a third added: ‘Wow look at Hugh Bonneville. Watching VJDay 75, the Nations Tribute. We Will Remember Them.’ 

Last week, Hugh shocked fans when he debuted his phenomenal image overhaul while speaking to Alex Jones and Gethin Jones on The One Show over Zoom. 

Unrecognisable: Hugh took to the balcony in a black suit and straight green tie as he read out King George VI's speech to mark the occasion

Before: It was not long until social media was flooded with praise for his fresh look (pictured previously in 2014)

Unrecognisable: Hugh took to the balcony in a black suit and straight green tie as he read out King George VI’s speech to mark the occasion (left, and in 2014, right)

Pleasant surprise: Fans were quick to flood social media with their praise for his phenomenal weight-loss transformation

Pleasant surprise: Fans were quick to flood social media with their praise for his phenomenal weight-loss transformation 

At the beginning of the programme, Prince William addressed the nation to honour veterans, 75 years after his great grandfather gave a speech on the end of the Second World War.

The Duke of Cambridge described how King George VI’s announcement on August 15, 1945, marked the end of ‘the most catastrophic conflict in mankind’s history.’

Thousands watched George VI and the Queen drive down The Mall in an open carriage, as they celebrated the end of the war following Imperial Japan‘s surrender.

William said: ‘As he marked the moment the world had long prayed for, King George expressed his pride in the international effort from across the Commonwealth and allied nations which secured success in the Asia-Pacific region.

From left to right, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, and Princess Margaret Rose wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace August 15, 1945 on VJ Day in London, England

From left to right, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, and Princess Margaret Rose wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace August 15, 1945 on VJ Day in London, England

‘We are forever grateful to all those who fought alongside us.

‘It is hard for us to imagine what Victory over Japan Day must have felt like at the time; a mix of happiness, jubilation, and sheer relief, together with a deep sadness and overwhelming sense of loss for those who would never return home.

‘Today we remember those who endured terrible suffering and honour all those who lost their lives.’

Incredible: Nicola stunned with her beautiful gown as she performed during the moving commemoration

Incredible: Nicola stunned with her beautiful gown as she performed during the moving commemoration

The duke showed his gratitude to the wartime generation, which includes his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who fought in the Far East and was aboard HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese signed the surrender on the USS Missouri.

‘He remembers vividly his role in collecting released prisoners of war, a sign, as sure as any to him, that the war was finally over,’ William said.

He recited the words of the Kohima Epitaph, carved on the memorial of the 2nd British Division in the cemetery of Kohima, northeast India, which reads ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say.

‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’

He continued: ‘As we look back, we must not forget our responsibility to learn the lessons of the past and ensure that the horrors of the Second World War are never repeated. 

‘We owe that to our veterans, to their families, and to the generations who will come after us.

Beaming: Sheridan couldn't hide her delight at the end of the programme

Beaming: Sheridan couldn’t hide her delight at the end of the programme

‘As we mark the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day, to each and every one of you who contributed to the effort, I say, thank you, our country owes you a debt of gratitude.

‘Your bravery, and the sacrifices you made, will never be forgotten.’

The address was recorded earlier in the month at The Guards Memorial, opposite Horse Guards Parade, in London. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant tributes to mark the landmark anniversary have been organised online and on television, including a video published online of the Prince of Wales reading an extract from the diary of his grandfather, King George VI, written on August 15 1945.

Star performer: Sir Bryn Terfel also wowed audiences with his version of Homeward Bound

Star performer: Sir Bryn Terfel also wowed audiences with his version of Homeward Bound

He reads: ‘By 10am there were already large crowds outside Buckingham Palace and we drove in procession in a state landau with an escort to Westminster where I opened the first peacetime Parliament since 1938.

‘The crown was carried in the full procession but no robes were worn. My speech took 16 minutes to read, in which I mentioned the surrender of Japan.’

In a separate video, the Duke of Gloucester reads an extract from the speech delivered by King George VI on VJ Day, which formed part of an online service of commemoration from Leicester Cathedral.

In a special message, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh – who himself was aboard HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese signed the surrender aboard USS Missouri on August 15, 1945 – gave ‘grateful thanks’ to all those who fought for the Allied nations.

In a statement, the Queen said: ‘Prince Philip and I join many around the world in sending our grateful thanks to the men and women from across the Commonwealth, and Allied nations, who fought so valiantly to secure the freedoms we cherish today.’ 

Powerhouse: Sir Willard White performed You'll Never Walk Alone

Powerhouse: Sir Willard White performed You’ll Never Walk Alone

DailyMail Online


Leave a Reply