The series was first broadcast in October On that occasion, the venue was the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cardiff. It is one of the longest running series of its genre on television anywhere in the world.
Until a change of format in Novemberthe programme featured congregations from churches and cathedrals singing hymns alongside interviews with people from the church from which the programme was broadcast with a exploration by the presenter of that week's theme, all from the same location.
To any practised singer this was obvious from the technique exhibited by the singers. November saw the programme adopt more of a magazine format.
The stated intention  was to evolve the series to reflect the wider Christian audience across the country. Music remains at the heart of the series, but is now more varied in style, reflecting the broad range of Christian genres in each programme and across the series; there is no longer a single location where the music and stories come from each week. The series continued to be usually broadcast between 4 and 5pm on Sundays; though as of onwards, it has generally been broadcast in a lunchtime slot.
The new format continues with special programmes marking Easter and Remembrance Sunday as well as the popular two Big Sing programmes from the Royal Albert Hall and the School Choir of the Year contest.
Until the relaxation of broadcasting hours restrictions in the autumn ofit was regulated by the government under the control of the Postmaster General that all television broadcasting on Sunday evenings from pm— pm should be "closed" and used only for religious programming on both BBC and ITV. Untilno programmes were broadcast during this time slot, until a compromise was reached between the churches and the Postmaster General, where religious programming would be acceptable to air in this time slot to avoid people from not attending Sunday evening church services.
It was under these restrictions and regulations that Songs of Praise was created. At its inception in Octoberthe programme was broadcast at pm.
From Septemberit moved to pm and then to pm from April with a daytime repeat, generally shown on the following day with BSL. Religious programming was also broadcast on ITV in the same time slot, but this custom ended in late December From Januarythe programme's scheduled broadcast time was changed to pm and then pm from January Since then, the time of broadcast has tended to shift slightly earlier, but the precise slot has often varied from praise to week.
As of Januarythe programme has now been placed in a new permanent lunchtime slot on a Sunday, after the Sunday lunchtime news, usually scheduled at 1. For many years, the series was replaced during the summer months by other Christian-themed programming. From  untila selection of hymns from the year's shows, linked by Thora Hird reading requests and watches, was featured in Your Songs of Praise Choicewhich changed its name to Praise Be! Other summer replacements included Home on Sunday —88  and Sweet Inspiration — Events have included a 3 October broadcast from Strangeways Prison the first time it online broadcast from a prison[ citation needed ] a 2 January broadcast from the Falkland Islands and a broadcast from St.
Patrick's Cathedral in New York. A competition was held in honour of the 20th anniversary in which people submitted newly written hymns. Fifteen winners were published in a book New Songs of Praise I. The programme staged its largest event at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on the song Sunday of The programme was produced by John Forrest. Ian Bradley said the event had a "wonderful vulgarity" but that it also had an "infectious sense of community" .
Each year sincethree consecutive weeks of the programme usually in April have been devoted to the School Choir of the Year competition — the first two weeks being semi-finals featuring junior and senior school choirs respectively, with the final of both in the third week. In order to cut costs, the Easter edition of the show was recorded at the same time as the Christmas edition of the show at Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire — with simple changes in lighting and flowers to reflect the two major services.
The Bishop of Lichfield said the early recording was not a "deliberate deceit" but would give "an air of unreality" to the Easter programme, while a BBC spokeswoman said it was "common practice" to film two shows at once due to the costs in setting up lighting rigs, especially in a large cathedral.
The 16 August broadcast, filmed at an Ethiopian Orthodox church in the Calais junglereceived criticism from the media including the Daily Expresswho stated the BBC was "out of touch" and that the show had "political propaganda".
The programme's producers have been lambasted on social media as well as by sections of the press and a handful of politicians for 'wasting taxpayer's money' and, for that greatest of all religious sins, of 'becoming political'. In my view, however, tackling this complex humanitarian issue is exactly what Songs of Praise should be doing.
The role of the television show, which is essentially about Christian faith, means the only way in which it can authentically fulfil its mandate is to deal with the tough issues of life, alongside the joys, faced by individuals as well as whole communities. Back in the '90s I was a presenter for Songs of Praise. Amongst the shows that I remain most proud of were those we made in South Africa, soon after Nelson Mandela was elected president, about the struggle against Apartheid, and another special programme I co-presented with Sally Magnusson the weekend after the Dunblane school massacre.
Inas part of their new charter agreementthe BBC announced that they would put all their programmes which were due for recommission out to competitive tender over an eleven-year period, with independent companies invited to bid to make the shows.
A Question of Sport was the first programme to go through this process with BBC Studios winning the commission and retaining the rights to make the show in house. Songs of Praise followed shortly after but on 10 March it was announced that the tender had been won by two independent production companies; Avanti Media based in Cardiff and Nine Lives Media located in Manchester who would be producing the show for the next three years as a co-production.
For other uses, see Songs of Praise disambiguation. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Herbert Chappell Robert Prizeman —.
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November Archived from the original on 10 November Retrieved 31 October Retrieved 17 January BBC News. Radio Times. BBC Magazines. Tonight, years after the first British settlement, Songs of Praise visits the Falklands to meet some of the islanders and some of the British forces now stationed there, to talk about their lives, their faith and their favourite hymns.
Patrick's Cathedral. Fordham Univ Press. ISBN Gracewing Publishing. Daily Express.
The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group.
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Christian Today. Peter Lang. Truth, Spirituality and Contemporary Issues. Westminster John Knox Press.
Crown Publishing Group. NPO Start in Dutch. Nederlandse Publieke Omroep.
Retrieved 25 January Authority control. United States.
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Religious broadcasting. Donald Baverstock. Cat Lewis — Emyr Afan — . Matthew Napier — . HDTV i. Songs of Praise.