Rule, Britannia! The Proms announces patriotic theme year after BBC lyrics ban backlash

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David Pickard, the director of the Proms, has said he hopes it will be “business as usual” when the concert returns to the Royal Albert Hall in July – albeit with more of a focus on British talent. Viewers can expect traditional anthems such as Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory in front of a packed flag-waving audience.

Last year, Mr Pickard made the controversial decision to play an orchestral version of the famous tunes and prompted a major backlash from the public and even the Prime Minister.

The decision was made in the wake of the pandemic as there was an empty auditorium, but a U-turn was eventually ordered by BBC bosses.

Mr Packard said he was planning for a “traditional” concert with a celebration of the best of British.

He confirmed 29 of the 30 orchestras will be from the UK and this was decided in part due to coronavirus restrictions.

The event will also mark the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall and 80 years since the famous venue became home to the Proms.

Mr Pickard said: “We want to have Proms as you know them, and we’re planning for a traditional Last Night of the Proms.

“The big headline for us is: this is a celebration of UK musicians, UK ensembles, UK artists. It’s incredible that we have 30 orchestras and 29 of them are from the UK.

“Yes, there was an element of practicality in it, but practicality that I think we turned into something very positive.”

More to follow.



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