VJ DAY 75 (BBC One, Saturday 8.30pm)

When 2020 began, the nation was looking forward to celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War via two big spectacular events – the first to mark VE Day, the moment when victory in Europe was assured.

That was all set to take place in May but everything that had been organised had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis; instead of lavish events, the odd socially distanced street party was about as much as we could muster. Thankfully VJ Day – which marks the fall of Japan and therefore the conclusion of the Second World War – will be celebrated in full, albeit without the huge crowds we might have expected in less worrying times.

This morning Sophie Raworth got the BBC's events under way in The Nation Remembers. At the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, she looked on as surviving veterans, including 93-year-old Albert Wills, who served aboard HMS Indefatigable, paid tribute to their fallen comrades in a sobering and moving moment.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall led a two-minute silence at 11am, followed by music from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

This evening attention turns to Horse Guards Parade when a pre-recorded spectacular is set to be broadcast. Narrated by Joanna Lumley, whose father was a member of the 6th Gurkha Rifles, it will tell the story of the Far East campaign via eye-witness testimonies, readings and musical performances.

Among those taking part are Hugh Bonneville, Sheridan Smith, Paterson Joseph and Martin Shaw, while Willard White, Ruby Turner, Bryn Terfel, Nicola Roberts and Braimah Kanne-Mason will also feature in the musical interludes. Listen out too for a tribute to the late, great Dame Vera Lynn, the forces sweetheart who, among her many wartime acts, toured Burma to entertain the troops. Prince William will also be on hand with a moving address.

Accompanying all these performers will be huge projections bringing to life scenes of the jungle, the Pacific Ocean and the battlefields where the conflict was played out in such devastating fashion.

"When the Second World War ended 75 years ago with the surrender of Japan, British soldiers, sailors and airmen were serving in the Far East, fighting hard to achieve victory - and were among the last to come home," says Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"On this anniversary I want to remember what we owe the veterans of the Far East campaign. They brought an end to the Second World War, they changed the course of history for the better, liberated South East Asia, and many paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"That's why on this remarkable anniversary – and every day hereafter – we will remember them."