The BBC will mark Victory in Europe Day with a special broadcast of Winston Churchill’s famous speech - who announced the war in Europe was over.

Here's what you need to know.

What happened on VE Day?

VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, is dedicated to commemorating the official end of the Second World War.

The day celebrates the formal acceptance by the Allies during World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of armed forces, on 8 May 1945.

Millions of people rejoiced the news of Germany’s surrender, and took to the streets in celebration, with parties, singing and dancing.

Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square in London and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth appeared on the balcony, overlooking the masses cheering below.

The news of the end of the war was announced by then Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who delivered a rousing speech 75 years ago.

What did Churchill say in his speech?

This is the speech then Sir Winston Churchill gave to the nation at the end of the Second World War in 1945:

“God bless you all. This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this.
“Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the independent resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.

“My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole.

“We were the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.

“There we stood, alone. Did anyone want to give in? Were we down-hearted? The lights went out and the bombs came down. But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the struggle. London can take it.

“So we came back after long months from the jaws of death, out of the mouth of hell, while all the world wondered. When shall the reputation and faith of this generation of English men and women fail?

“I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we’ve done and they will say ‘do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be-unconquered.’ Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle-a terrible foe has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy.

“But there is another foe who occupies large portions of the British Empire, a foe stained with cruelty and greed - the Japanese. I rejoice we can all take a night off today and another day tomorrow.

“Tomorrow our great Russian allies will also be celebrating victory and after that we must begin the task of rebuilding our hearth and homes, doing our utmost to make this country a land in which all have a chance, in which all have a duty, and we must turn ourselves to fulfill our duty to our own countrymen, and to our gallant allies of the United States who were so foully and treacherously attacked by Japan.

“We will go hand and hand with them. Even if it is a hard struggle we will not be the ones who will fail.”

How can I watch the speech on VE Day?

In honour of the 75th anniversary, the BBC will present special tribute programming across television, radio and BBC iPlayer on Friday (May 8).

The programming will include readings of diary extracts and poetry, a remembrance of the most pivotal moments, and an address from Her Majesty the Queen at 9pm, the exact time her father addressed the nation three quarters of a century ago.

The broadcast of Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech, which he made from 10 Downing Street on May 8, 1945, will air on BBC One at 2.45pm on Friday, May 8, 2020.

The programme will last for one hour, according to TV listings, and will be presented by Sophie Raworth.

VE Day programming will resume again on BBC One at 8pm for a special musical show called The People’s Celebration, featuring an array of British talent delivering unique versions of well-known songs from the 30s and 40s.