The BBC has performed an embarrassing U-turn on its original decision to forbid the singing of Rule Britannia at Last Night at the Proms. Now, whilst there will be no audience, the corporation has succumbed to public pressure and announced “a select group of BBC singers” will perform the patriotic piece. They even added viewers will be “free to sing along at home”. How gracious of them…
Read the BBC’s statement in full here:
Update on Last Night of the Proms
The pandemic means a different Proms this year and one of the consequences, under COVID-19 restrictions, is we are not able to bring together massed voices. For that reason we took the artistic decision not to sing Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory in the Hall.
We have been looking hard at what else might be possible and we have a solution. Both pieces will now include a select group of BBC Singers. 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. While it can’t be a full choir, and we are unable to have audiences in the Hall, we are doing everything possible to make it special and want a Last Night truly to remember.
We hope everyone will welcome this solution. We think the night itself will be a very special moment for the country – and one that is much needed after a difficult period for everyone. It will not be a usual Last Night, but it will be a night not just to look forward to, but to remember.