On Sunday night, BBC One hosted its very own version of One World: Together at Home, a global broadcast from Global Citizen and the World Health Organization to honor and celebrate frontline workers around the world — and unite the world in COVID-19 response.
The BBC One show, which aired on April 19, put special emphasis on the heroic key workers in the UK and the work of the NHS, plus exclusive appearances from British artists.
The show was hosted by Radio 1’s Clara Amfo, Dermot O’Leary, and Claudia Winkleman — all making sure to be at least two metres apart in the studio.
The show featured clips from the April 18 global broadcast – including speeches from Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, among others, and performances from The Rolling Stones, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and many more — as well as exclusive performances from the likes of Little Mix, Jess Glynne, and George the Poet.
The broadcast is part of Global Citizen’s Together At Home campaign, which works to support the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 response efforts; thank health care workers and key workers globally; and ensure that no one is left behind in the fight to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
With over $128 million (over £100 million) raised, the broadcast was an overwhelming moment of global unity. Here are just a few of our favourite moments from the BBC One show, which you can also re-watch on BBC iPlayer.
1. This Incredible Lineup of Some of the World’s Biggest Artists
As well as featuring some of the stand-out performances from the global broadcast the night before, BBC One’s show on Sunday included some exclusive performances just for those of us in the UK.
George the Poet kicked off the show with a brand-new spoken word poem recognising the work of the UK’s key workers, from nurses to waste management workers.
Lady Gaga — who collaborated on curating One World: Together At Home — gave a shout out to everyone involved in the show and said she was proud to be a part of it, before giving a heartfelt rendition of “Smile”.
Next up, Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards introduced the group’s beautiful acoustic version of “Touch”, saying, “I hope it puts a smile on your faces”. The four, although physically distanced in their own homes, didn’t let it get in the way of their performance.
"We appreciate you so, so, so much."— Global Citizen UK (@GlblCtznUK) April 20, 2020
A message to NHS staff and key workers everywhere from @LittleMix on One World: #TogetherAtHome 💌 @BBCOne
⚡️Join our movement supporting health workers fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines at https://t.co/DpUDph70oI. pic.twitter.com/OtQwzj6NPM
Paul McCartney performed a soulful version of the Beatles’ hit “Lady Madonna”. Macca described how his mum had been a nurse, and made the important point that we need to tell our leaders to “strengthen healthcare systems so a crisis like this never happens again”.
Another ‘60s legend, Stevie Wonder, performed “Lean On Me”, dedicating his performance to soul singer Bill Withers, who recently passed away at 88.
Later on in the show we heard from “Juice” singer Lizzo, who gave a heart-wrenching performance of “A Change Is Gonna Come”.
The Rolling Stones, who played “like we’ve never seen them before” — split over four screens performing from their own homes — was a highlight. During the rendition of the classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” drummer Charlie Watts made the hilarious decision to “air drum” throughout on boxes.
Celeb couple Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello performed a beautiful duet of “What a Wonderful World” on the piano from their home; and Jennfier Lopez put everyone’s garden decor to shame as she performed Barbara Streisand’s “People” surrounded by fairy lights and candles.
And the evening also saw new and innovative collaborations.
Sam Smith and John Legend collaborated on an amazing duet of “Stand By Me” – performed in tandem from their separate homes. , Later in the show, pianist Lang Lang, Celine “Actual” Dione — as Claudia Winkleman described her — Lady Gaga, Andrea Boccelli, and John Legend performed “The Prayer” in a special collaboration.
Billie Eilish took on a cover of “Sunny” and thanked frontline health workers, while her brother Finneas played the piano.
“Hi to everyone watching on the BBC in the UK, I hope you’re enjoying the show,” Eilish said. “I just want to say a big thank you to all the frontline workers, we are all in this together, and I love you.”
A not-to-miss moment for rock fans was Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam playing “River Cross” on a harmonium in his basement. It was intense!
Meanwhile, icon Elton John gave a bombastic performance of “I’m Still Standing” from a grand piano in his garden – a must-see of the evening.
“Thank you for all your love, your expertise, your care, and your humanity,” he said, to health care workers everywhere. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Next up was Burna Boy — who performed with Stormzy at the BRITs back in February — singing “African Giant” from his home in Lagos, against a montage of images of efforts to tackle COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Sir Tom Jones told us the story of being isolated with Tuberculosis for two years when he was growing up. “I thought that was bad,” he said, “but this is even worse.”
“Stay home, stay together, and we’ll get through it,” the legendary Welsh septuagenarian said, before performing “Glory of Love”.
Taylor Swift, too, gave a moving rendition of “Soon You’ll Get Better” — a song she wrote for her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer — in an extremely touching performance.
To close out the show, the extraordinary Kingdom Choir performed the Bob Dylan classic “Make You Feel My Love” — as video footage played of people around the UK holding up rainbows, rainbows painted on houses, and health workers dancing, in a beautiful celebration of all the incredible people out there keeping us safe and healthy.
2. Celebrating the True Heroes: Britain’s Key Workers
Of course, One World: Together At Home was all about celebrating the key workers in every sector who are keeping the country, and the world, going right now — and that message was front-and-centre throughout the show.
In one particularly touching moment, as Jess Glynne was singing “I’ll Be There”, we saw a compilation of videos from all across the UK, made by key workers as they went about their new daily routines amid COVID-19.
We heard from teacher Zane and his team, who have been making school meals and doing free deliveries to pupils to make sure they still get a free lunch. He and staff are making a 6-mile round trip delivering food each day, they said.
Another key worker in the show was Jay, the owner of an Indian restaurant in Birmingham, who has given away over 400 free meals to NHS staff to help keep them fed despite their long hours spent caring for patients. Another restaurant worker, Ishfaq, was shown making hot meals for bus drivers in Newcastle, which he has been doing since the start of the lockdown.
Postal and delivery staff also made an appearance, writing messages like “you are not alone” on packages due to be delivered; or dressing up as superheroes to cheer people up when they get deliveries. We also met Nick, a bus driver, who talked about how he wants his kids to look back and be proud that he’s a key worker.
3. We Heard From a Doctor About Her Experience Fighting COVID-19
Poignantly, Dr. Asif Munaf, who works as a medical registrar on a COVID-19 ward in the UK, gave a devastating account of what tackling the coronavirus has been like for her and her colleagues.
“It’s hard work, emotionally taxing, we don’t have the normal coping mechanisms to process the trauma we’re seeing,” she said, via video. “At night, things play in your head. And it’s taking a massive toll on all of us.”
She added that she expects there to be a lot of “delayed trauma” in the profession as a result of COVID-19, when things eventually go back to normal.
At the moment she is self-isolating away from her children, but says her husband is the one looking out for her. “He’s my key worker,” she said.
One of the most trying and heartbreaking elements of Dr. Munaf’s new reality at work, she said, is that they can’t give the same care they would normally give to people in their dying moments — due to safety protocols to reduce risk of infection.
“It’s hard for us as well, because you take an oath to provide compassionate care, to be there for families in their last moments,” she said. “But at the moment we can’t do that. I hope the families are feeling the care that we’re trying to give them, however remotely.”
But she added that she does “feel the love” from everyone in the country.
“Thank you to everyone who is reaching out, sending messages, providing meals, the NHS would be on its knees without all of you,” she finished. “Stay home, stay safe, and god bless you all.”
4. Kids Got the Chance to Ask Some Really Important Questions
Everyone’s favourite TV doctor, Dr. Ranj Singh, made an appearance via video link to answer some COVID-19 questions asked by children all around the UK.
Their questions ranged from “should we be wearing face masks?”, to “can I still hug my mum and dad?” (so cute!)
They were all given very clear answers from Dr. Ranj — including a lot of helpful advice for the adults too.
He said, for example, that masks can be effective, but are limited to healthcare workers in the UK right now — as members of the public might use them in an ineffective way, or use them in a way that actually puts us more at risk.
Dr. Ranj also says it’s absolutely fine to hug your family, as long as you’re in the same household and you’re all well and healthy.
5. Some Key Workers Got Once-in-a-Lifetime Surprises
Dermot O’Leary, one of the three hosts of the BBC show, alongside Clara Amfo, and Claudia Winkleman, talked about the “new national pastime” of clapping every week to show our gratitude to NHS workers. But on the show a couple of those NHS staff got an extra special thank you, too.
We heard from Sam, a 33-year-old midwife from Birmingham, who has taken the tough decision to self-isolate in a hotel to help protect her family. Sam’s husband has a serious underlying condition, she said, that means contracting COVID-19 could kill him.
Sam, an NHS midwife, moved to a hotel away from her family to protect her vulnerable husband while she continued to work during the pandemic.— Global Citizen UK (@GlblCtznUK) April 20, 2020
There was a magical surprise waiting for her on One World: #TogetherAtHome ✨ @BBCOne@ClaudiaWinkle@CallTheMidwife1@JK_Rowlingpic.twitter.com/aBD1mLkVOV
She and her family were delighted when actors Miriam Margolis, from Sam’s favourite show Call the Midwife, and Rupert Grint of Harry Potter, crashed what she’d thought would be her daily family Skype call.
Grint told Sam’s 9-year-old daughter Rosie that her efforts in looking after her dad while her mum was away working was “very Gryffindor behaviour”; and the whole family were invited to visit the Call the Midwife set when things are back up and running again.
Another surprise moment was for Alice, a clinical nurse specialist, who was supposed to be getting married earlier in the month, but had to postpone it due to lockdown.
In a bit of a tear-jerker, her husband-to-be filled their living room with bunting, confetti, balloons, and messages from loved ones; before Bake Off star Nadiya Hussein called her up to say there was a cake outside her door.
Oscar-winning actor Richard E. Grant did the best man speech; while Skip Marley performed a rendition of his granddad’s hit “Is This Love” — the song the couple had always wanted for their first dance.
6. UK Athletes Showed Us How to Keep Fit at Home
We’re all trying our best to keep fit despite not being able to leave the house and, as Dermot O’Leary highlighted, “with varying degrees of success.”
From Olympic gold medallist Mo Farrah to football manager Harry Redknapp, some of the UK’s leading sports stars shared their top tips, and gave us a glimpse of their own exercise routines
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill could be seen teaching her son how to jump hurdles and Dame Denise Lewis told us she was working out with her “only slightly competitive family”. While former footballer Michael Owen even demonstrated a full-on obstacle course in his garden, with some help from his kids.
And as Farrah reminded everyone: “This is a tough situation for all of us. Together we’ll overcome this… let’s just do what we can every day.”
7. World Leaders Shared Their Thanks Too
It’s not just the UK that’s expressing its supreme gratitude right now to health and key workers on the frontlines against COVID-19 — and leaders from around the world also made an appearance to say thank you, and to share more about the global fight against coronavirus.
Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey both shared their One World: Together At Home messages of support, and of gratitude and thanks to key workers.
"While the coming days will not be easy, this global family of ours is strong,” said Obama. “We will continue to be here for one another and we will get through this crisis together.”
Winfrey continued: “Tonight, we stand as one world, united in our fight to rid the world of this disease and to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation and António Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, also spoke.
Dr. Tedros said of the virus: “Has taken so much from us, but it has also given us the unique opportunity to put aside our differences, break down barriers, to see the best in each other, and to ensure this never happens again.”
Meanwhile, Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the UN, highlighted how important it is that we “leave no one behind and accelerate our race to find a vaccine.”
You can join the global efforts to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19 by taking action through our Together At Home campaign.
And you can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.