British pubcaster Channel 4 will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a feature-length doc and hour-long companion special set to air this September.
Produced by Arrow Media in association with indie prodco Ora et Labora, both titles will recount and celebrate the successful missions of Allied forces that defended British skies from encroaching German Luftwaffe aircraft in what would be Hitler’s final attempt to invade Britain. Presented by Ireland’s Got Talent host Dermot O’Leary, the films will showcase interviews with the last surviving veterans as they recount perilous missions.
Tentatively titled Battle of Britain: The Last of the Few (pictured), the 90-minute film will detail the human stories behind the Battle of Britain as fighter pilots, ground crew and ‘Ops Room’ strategists provide intimate details of their roles in the campaign to save Britain from the invading enemy. The Last of the Few will launch September 13 on Channel 4.
Meanwhile, Battle of Britain: Heroes Fly Again (working title) will air September 15 across C4. The hour-long “event” special will provide behind-the-scenes access and exclusive aerial coverage of a flypast tribute over the South of England during the 75th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day. An estimated 40 Spitfires and Hurricanes from across the U.S., UK and Europe will be on-hand for the display.
Tom Brisley and Ash Potterton serve as executive producers, while Chris Parkin is listed as series producer and Dermot O’Leary is associate producer. Rob Coldstream and Sara Ramsden are commissioning editors for Channel 4.
“This is probably the last significant commemoration that the surviving ‘Few’ will be able to join,” said Rob Coldstream in a statement. “I hope we can bring a whole new young generation of viewers to understand the significance of the sacrifices that were made by these heroes 75 years ago.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Dermot [O'Leary] again on Battle of Britain, another landmark production for Channel 4,” added Tom Brisley, joint creative director at Arrow Media. “Following the success of Live from Space, the Battle of Britain production will feature a must-see event, as we bring to life one of the most significant days of World War II.”