When Naga Munchetty interviewed World War II veteran Harry Billinge in June earlier this year, the video captured the hearts of the nation. On today’s BBC Breakfast instalment, Harry was welcomed into the studio by Naga and Charlie Stayt to discuss his staggering fundraising efforts and gave the veteran a glimpse of what his hard work has achieved.
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Naga introduced: “I’m sure many of you will remember Harry Billinge the 94-year-old war veteran who captured the hearts of millions of people when he appeared on Breakfast earlier this year.”
Charlie added: “He spoke about being amongst the first wave of troops of the D-Day landings aged just 18.”
“And he said he could never forget his comrades who lost their lives telling us they were heroes, now his emotional comments won him admirers from all over the world,” Naga said.
When Harry joined the hosts in the studio, discussion soon turned to the last time him and Naga had met.
Charlie said: “When you first came in here a moment ago and I’m thinking back to when you met Naga on the beach and you had that moment, the first thing you said to Naga just now was I owe you an apology.”
“I do,” Harry admitted. “Well she’s a lovely person, she’s very kind, a very good golfer, she’s lovely.
“I’m very sensitive and I could see she was a bit upset when I told her nobody can ever describe D-Day.
“I’ve heard a lot of b******t and that’s true. Nobody was there,” he remarked.
Praising the veteran, one viewer wrote: “#BBCBreakfast if anyone can say b******t live on telly it’s Harry.”
“Harry dropping a casual ‘b******t’ on live TV! What a great soldier and servant to this country, I could listen to him all day #BBCBreakfast,” another wrote.
“ABSOLUTE LIVING LEGEND! THAT’S ALL1 My heart feels so warm watching Mr Harry Bilinge. Hero! Thank you! #BBCBreakfast #RemembranceDay,” another added.
A fourth tweeted: “Harry has taken over #BBCBreakfast love it cracking the b******t in the morning.”
Later on, Naga and Charlie showed Harry footage of the memorial the veteran has been desperately fundraising for.
Naga confirmed Harry wanted to raise £22,442 as he clarified: “That’s a pound for every bloke that died on that beach on D-Day.”
“And you reached the target, brilliant,” Naga continued. “But what you’ve been contributing to is a bigger memorial so all the names of those could be [remembered].
“I want to show you something because it’s difficult isn’t when you’re raising money for something but can’t see it.
“If you look in this big screen over here we can show you what’s been done so far and you’ve never seen this before.”
“No, never,” Harry confirmed as he tried to hold back tears.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Harry struggled to convey how he felt as Naga went over to comfort him.
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.