Culture

BBC reinstates Rule Britannia! singalong after backlash

BBC reinstates Rule Britannia! singalong after backlash”

A select group of vocalists will now perform Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory at the Last Night Of The Proms, the BBC has confirmed - reversing a decision to feature just instrumentals of the pieces.

With CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus restrictions limiting the size of the choir and preventing an audience from attending, the broadcaster had planned to play only orchestral versions of "Rule Britannia!" and "Land of Hope and Glory", which are normally sung by flag-waving fans during The Last Night of the Proms concert.

"Both pieces will now include a select group of BBC Singers".

The BBC said in a new statement: "The epidemic means a different premise this year and one outcome of this, under the Covid-19 restrictions, is that we can not bring together the voices that have spread together", the BBC said in a new statement. "And Holland of Hope and Glory".

"We have been looking hard at what else might be possible and we have a solution".

The BBC, having changed their decision, said on Wednesday that a select group of BBC singers would now sing the words at The Last Night of the Proms on September 12. This means the words will be sung in the Hall, and as we have always made clear, audiences will be free to sing along at home.

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The Proms are among the oldest yearly performances of classical music in the United Kingdom, culminating with the Last Night, a concert leaning toward popular numbers.

In a nod to the intense controversy that greeted the original reports and subsequent decision, the BBC said they hoped that "everyone will welcome this solution", and that despite it being different to normal it would still be "a night to remember". "As they did at the end of The Primus of the Last Night last night", he told reporters last week.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the No. 10 said the prime minister had "welcomed the backtrack" decision.

He said: "People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections". It's insane for us to go around trying to censor it. "It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the United Kingdom and our history".

It had all the ingredients for a juicy skirmish in Britain's simmering culture war, so when the BBC announced last week that it would strip the lyrics from two popular patriotic songs in its telecast of a beloved annual concert, Conservative leaders predictably lined up to express their outrage. Lord Hall handed over the new director general to Tim Davy on Tuesday.



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