On Saturday, the BBC aired a handful of special programmes to mark 75 years since VJ Day and the end of World War Two. In one special instalment, titled The Nation’s Tribute, Joanna Lumley welcomed a number of famous faces, including Sheridan Smith and Nicola Roberts, to the show as they paid tributes and remembered all of those involved. However, it was actor Hugh Bonneville who had viewers talking.
Donned in a black suit, white shirt and green tie, Hugh took to the balcony to recite King George VI’s speech from the time.
Hugh said: “On the evening of VJ Day, 1945, King George VI addressed the nation.
“‘Three months have passed since I asked you to join with in an act of thanksgiving for the defeat of Germany.
“‘We then rejoiced that peace had returned to Europe but we knew a strong and relentless enemy still remained to be conquered in Asia.'”
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The actor continued: “‘Japan has surrendered so let us join in thanking almighty God that war has ended throughout the world.
“‘I ask you again to remember all who have laid down their lives and all who have endured the loss of the ones they love,
“‘Remember too the suffering of those who fell into the hands of the enemy, whether as prisoners of war or because their homes have become overrun,
“‘The campaigns in the far-East will be famous in history for many reasons. There is one feature of them which is a special source of pride to me.'”
He added: “‘And also to you, the citizens of our British Commonwealth and Empire to whom I speak,
“‘In those campaigns, there have fought, side by side with our allies, representatives of almost every unit within our great community,
“‘Men from the old countries, men from the dominia, from Inida and the colonies, they fought in brotherhood.
“Through their courage and endurance, they conquered. All of them, and the women who shared with them the hardships and dangers of war, I send my proud and grateful thanks.'”