BBC backlash: Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter condemns Land of Hope and Glory snub | UK | News (Reports)


Virginia Lewis-Jones, 74, insisted Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera, who died earlier this year aged 103, would still be singing Land of Hope and Glory if she were alive. She said: “I feel that I can see my mother now saying ‘You tell ’em girl’.

“She would feel the same thing and if she were here now she would be singing it.”

Mrs Lewis Jones added that it was “wonderful” her mother’s rendition of Land of Hope and Glory had been propelled to number one in the iTunes chart following a backlash against the BBC’s decision to drop the words from this year’s Last Night of the Proms.

She told the Daily Mail: “It is daft and I can’t understand it.

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“You try to stop 12,000 people in the Royal Albert Hall plus all those outside from not singing it.

“How are you going to do that? Especially if mummy’s record has gone to number one.

“What it could do is put a lot of people’s backs up and defeat the object of whatever they were trying to do.”

Mrs Lewis Jones’ comments come after the BBC announced orchestral versions of Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory would be performed at the concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 12.

It followed reports the traditional anthems could be axed altogether due to their perceived association with colonialism and slavery.

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READ MORE: Andrew Neil hits out in Rule Britannia! row

He said on Tuesday: “I just want to say, if it is correct, which I cannot believe that it really is, but if it is correct, that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land Of Hope And Glory or Rule, Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night of the Proms.

“I think it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness.

“I wanted to get that off my chest.”

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There will be no audience at the Last Night of the Proms this year because of coronavirus restrictions.

Members of the audience usually sing along and enthusiastically wave flags when Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory play.

The BBC’s outgoing director-general Lord Hall insisted the decision to perform the two patriotic anthems without lyrics was a “creative” one.

But he admitted that the issue of cutting songs because of their association with Britain’s imperial history had been discussed.

The BBC has confirmed that Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory will be sung at next year’s Last Night of the Proms.


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