I'm thinking plenty of people may have missed the Jo Brand programme on Vera Brittain this afternoon because of a BBC rescheduling. We only caught it by chance because we'd lit the fire and had planned to have a lazy TV afternoon and evening after this morning's local Remembrance muster, more of which on Armistice Day which will be the final day of this year's Remembrance Read.
Points of View, now looking like a much more serious affair with Jeremy Vine at the helm made reference to the poor BBC scheduling of Little Dorrit and it has certainly left me flummoxed and out of the loop with the series which I was so looking forward to. Then Jeremy suggested we might all enjoy the programme to follow on Vera Brittain, which of course we'd just watched.
Anyway food on laps and pots of tea and suddenly there was Jo Brand.
If you did miss it and can catch it on Iplayer it's worth it because I felt it offered such good explanations for the woman that Vera Brittain became. The losses built up to almost unbearable proportions as one by one the men closest to her were either slaughtered in the trenches or died later of injuries sustained in battle and Jo Brand pulled together all the various strands with clarity as she spoke to Vera's daughter, Shirley Williams and her biographer Mark Bostridge. Interspersed with scene re-creations which worked well in this context and added huge impact to the moment when Vera heard of Roland's death.
Last night's Festival of Remembrance also excelled for its much upgraded content, no more PE teams vaulting over horses, this was Katherine Jenkins, Blake, Russell Watson and some very jazzy Royal Marines band-playing all linking into footage of the troops now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The poppy petal drift was as emotional as ever and all in all I think we continue to honour the promise
'at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them' with huge gratitude, pride and sincerity.