Reaching 100 has been an 'incredible adventure,' says Dame Vera Lynn
Renowned wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn has described reaching her 100th birthday as “an incredible adventure of song, dance and friendship”.
Known across the nation as ‘the Forces’ Sweetheart’ for her uplifting performances during the Second World War, the star is set to celebrate the milestone with a charity concert showcasing some of the best of British talent.
She promised viewers that the show, featuring comedian Alexander Armstrong and singers Blake and Hayley Westenra, would give a “tiny insight” into her near century-long career.
Dame Vera said: “To have reached my hundredth year is in itself an achievement – with all the many memories that one collects over the years, the different places and the wonderful people one meets and the many, many fans from across the world who have supported me.
“The show will be but a tiny insight into my career from when I started professionally on stage at the age of seven, through the war years right up until the current day… so sit back and enjoy what for me has been an incredible adventure of song, dance and friendship.”
Taking place on March 18, two days before her birthday, the one-off spectacular at central London’s Palladium will raise funds for her children’s charity.
After her first public performance at the age of seven, Dame Vera’s hit singles We’ll Meet Again and My Son, My Son in 1954 and Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart in 1952, soon became an emblem of nostalgia and morale during the war years.
While she released her last song, I Love This Land, at the end of the Falklands war, she continued to perform and appear on radio and television.
She is also credited with founding and supporting a number of charities, including to combat cerebral palsy, breast cancer and animal cruelty, as well as help for war veterans and refugees.
Her big birthday bash, which will also include a performance from dancer Robert Robinson, is produced by her son-in-law, Squadron Leader Tom Jones (Ret’d).
He said: “We are all incredibly excited to be celebrating Dame Vera’s milestone birthday with this star-studded show at The London Palladium.
“She remains so humble about her career, which touched the lives of so many troops and got them through some of their darkest days.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming guests, friends, VIPs and dignitaries to the concert to celebrate – it will be a truly memorable night for all who attend.”
::Tickets for 100: A Tribute To Dame Vera Lynn are available online from £50.