Dermot O’Leary is to uncover the untold story of the heroic efforts of RNLI crews during World War II in a special episode of Saving Lives at Sea commissioned to commemorate the 2024 bicentenary of the RNLI.

For this new special for BBC Two and iPlayer, “Dermot will be delving deep into some of the war’s most iconic and surprising stories, meeting incredible characters from the RNLI’s past and present.”

Dermot O’Leary says: “Growing up near, and spending so much time on, and in, the sea, the RNLI and its incredible crews of volunteers were always a constant, reassuring presence of my youth. All of us in the UK and Ireland owe it a huge debt. As well as having been an ambassador for over 20 years, I’m a huge history fan. For me it’s always been about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. I’m really excited to investigate this little-known history, and find out how these lifeboat crews played such a pivotal role in the war effort.”

Clare Sillery, BBC Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, says: “I’m delighted that Dermot O’Leary is immersing himself in the extraordinary stories of the incredible characters who played such a vital role in this period of history. Saving Lives at Sea is one of our most popular brands and this promises to be a very special programme.”

Saving Lives at Sea WWII Special (w/t) 1×60 was commissioned for BBC Two and iPlayer by Clare Sillery, BBC Head of Commissioning, Documentaries and is being made by Blast by the Sea where the Executive Producer is Sarah Spencer and the Series Producer is David Mackay. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Anna Dickeson.

Jon Creamer

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