The Queen Mary: Greatest Ocean Liner – 12 November 2020 – 12/11/2020 – Thursday – BBC Four

With exclusive access to the magnificent liner and its extensive archive of film and photographs, this documentary explores the action-packed life of the Clyde-built ship – an epic journey through some of the most dynamic periods of the 20th century.

Built with the blood and sweat of the master craftsmen of the Clydebank shipyards, she helped drag a nation from the depths of the great depression and set sail as a symbol of new hope and a better future. Leaving Southampton on 27 May 1936, her maiden voyage to New York set a new benchmark in transatlantic travel. Designed in peacetime to link the old world with the new, she ferried movie stars, politicians and royalty across the Atlantic, luxuriously cocooned in an art-deco floating palace.

Then, in 1939, she was transformed to challenge the fury of the Nazis in the Battle of the Atlantic. With a wartime record to rival that of the highest-ranking general, she carried whole armies through enemy-infested seas. Hitler offered a bonus of $250,000 and the Iron Cross to any U-boat captain who could sink the Queen Mary.

When the war was over, the Queen Mary gave passage to thousands of British war brides and children who planned a new life in the New World. The Queen Mary was a great attraction to the rich and famous celebrities of the 1950s and 60s.

From an exclusive interview with singer Johnny Mathis, we find out what it was like to perform on the rough seas of the Atlantic. The liner continued in service until 1967 and is now a floating luxury hotel and museum docked in a custom-made lagoon in Long Beach, California.


About the Show

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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About BBC Four

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