Dame Joan Collins has recorded an exclusive video for HELLO! detailing her experiences as a young girl growing up during the Second World War. To commemorate VE Day this week, the indefatigable actress, author and producer has shared her special memories of the historic event. Watch the video below.
WATCH: Dame Joan Collins recalls sleeping in the Underground during the war
"VE Day was the most amazing, fantastic day," Dame Joan recalls. "Daddy put us all into his car and we drove around London, which was full of people dancing and singing, kissing and hugging each other, climbing up lamp posts, waving Union Jacks and screaming with joy. We drove to Piccadilly and the soldiers and sailors were crawling all over Eros. I'd never seen anything like it.
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"I was very young when the war broke out, so it’s hard for me to remember how it started. My father had to stay in London because he was putting on shows to entertain people who were staying behind. But I was evacuated constantly. My sister Jackie and I were taken by my father to a variety of places – Chichester, Bognor, Brighton and Norfolk. We were all over the place. My favourite was Ilfracombe. To get to the beach you had to go under a dark tunnel, which was very exciting for my sister and me, and then you’d get onto these beautiful golden sands and rocks.
"VE Day was the most amazing, fantastic day," Dame Joan recalls
"My schooling was a disaster because every time we went to a new place, I had to go to a new school. That was very tough. But we were lucky because we were always with our mother, and that made a big difference." The award-winning actress also recalled sleeping in the Underground, saying: "We went to the one at Marble Arch the most. It was very convivial – people would have accordions and they’d sing. There was a little bit of dancing – so long as they didn’t fall into the train tracks."
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And Joan has a special message for war veterans this VE Day, saying: "On this VE day I want to thank all the fabulous soldiers and sailors, marines and WAAFs, Wrens and RAF pilots and everybody who helped us win that war. And much love to you who are still with us – thank you." Dame Joan Collins is supporting the Royal British Legion's virtual VE Day celebrations.
See this week's issue of HELLO! out now for the full interview.
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