Joanna Lumley to help Heathrow mark seven decades

Concorde refuelling at the airport in the 1980s.Concorde refuelling at the airport in the 1980s.
Concorde refuelling at the airport in the 1980s.
Actress Joanna Lumley will mark Heathrow's 70th anniversary today by unveiling a series of plaques which represent 'an iconic moment of British culture' from the past seven decades.

Since the UK’s busiest airport began operation in 1946, over 20m flights have taken off from there, handling more than 2bn passengers.

The airport has hosted many memorable moments, from the Beatles returning to the UK as superstars in 1964 to the England rugby team arriving home as World Cup winners in 2003.

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In 1952 the former Princess Elizabeth stepped onto UK soil for the first time as monarch at Heathrow. Her father, King George VI, had died while she was touring Kenya.

In 2003, 1,000 spectators gathered on a special platform to watch the final three flights of Concorde land at the airport.

For her part, Joanna Lumley is no stranger to Heathrow.

She travelled from there to Nepal in 2009 while leading the campaign to allow Gurkhas settlement rights in Britain.

The actress said: “It’s such an honour to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Heathrow, an airport that has played host to some of the world’s most amazing journeys. I have travelled through Heathrow for work, pleasure and for trips close to my heart, with my travels to Nepal being some of the most precious moments of my life.”