It’s not true the BBC decided against showing Dame Vera Lynn’s funeral live

21st Jul 2020

Claim

The BBC decided not to broadcast the funeral of Dame Vera Lynn live, but did broadcast the funeral of George Floyd in America.

Conclusion

This is not correct. Dame Vera’s funeral was a private event. The BBC did broadcast live the funeral procession, which was public.

Multiple Facebook posts shared thousands of times in total claim that the BBC decided not to broadcast live the funeral of Dame Vera Lynn, but did broadcast live the funeral of George Floyd. This is not correct. The funeral of George Floyd was broadcast live, but while Dame Vera’s funeral was a private event, the BBC did broadcast the public funeral procession. 

Dame Vera—known as the Forces’ Sweetheart due to her performances for troops during World War II—died on 18 June 2020. Mr Floyd —a black man who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck during his arrest in Minneapolis—died on 25 May 2020. His death has sparked protests against racial inequality across America and the rest of the world. 

Dame Vera’s funeral, which took place on 10 July, was a private family event held at a crematorium in Brighton. However, certain events around the funeral were public, including a flypast of two Spitfires by the Royal Airforce (video of which was shared by the BBC on Twitter) and a procession through the streets of Ditchling, in East Sussex, where she had lived. The BBC told Reuters that it did broadcast the funeral procession live. Full Fact has confirmed this from a transcript of the BBC News channel from 10 July, which shows that the channel covered the procession and the flypast live.

A full public memorial service is expected to be held at a later date.

The funeral of Mr Floyd on 9 June was also broadcast live on the BBC News channel.