TV & RA­DIO

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cel­e­brat­ing the 75th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of Bri­tain, Der­mot O’Leary meets veter­ans such as 95-year-old Wing Com­man­der Tom ‘Ginger’ Neil, who re­calls his train­ing. It was min­i­mal, and he was sent up with in­struc­tions to shoot down en­emy air­craft while avoid­ing get­ting shot him­self.

Der­mot doesn’t just meet for­mer pi­lots, he also en­coun­ters ground crew mem­bers, who of­ten had just 20 min­utes to carry out main­te­nance on dam­aged planes and faced be­ing bombed as the Luft­waffe tar­geted RAF air­fields. The 90-minute doc­u­men­tary also charts events on 15 Septem­ber 1940, when the Luft­waffe sent wave af­ter wave of aero­planes in an un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt to break Bri­tish re­sis­tance. On Chan­nel 4, Bat­tle Of Bri­tain: He­roes Fly Again (Tues­day 15 Septem­ber) charts a fly­past over the south of Eng­land in­volv­ing an ex­pected 40 Hur­ri­canes and Spit­fires. The fight­ers will take to the air over sites strongly as­so­ci­ated with the Bat­tle of Bri­tain, in­clud­ing the White Cliffs of Dover, Big­gin Hill and RAF Uxbridge.

It’s Ra­dio 2’s turn on Fri­day 18 Septem­ber to mark the an­niver­sary. Chris Evans and Jeremy Vine will broad­cast from Big­gin Hill, and there will be a spe­cial edi­tion of Fri­day Night Is Mu­sic Night com­mem­o­rat­ing events dur­ing a sum­mer when the fate of the na­tion hung very much in the bal­ance.

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Spit­fires pa­trol over the coast­line dur­ing the Bat­tle of Bri­tain

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