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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Songs of Praise viewers criticise BBC’s decision to remove show from primetime slot

Songs of Praise viewers have hit out at the BBC following its decision to dump the programme from its Sunday evening primetime spot.

Viewers have raised their concerns about the broadcaster’s decision to move the show from its 6pm primetime slot on a Sunday to 1.15pm, with some even accusing the BBC of changing the time in order to bring down viewer figures so that it can justify funding cuts and even axe the programme.

One viewer tweeted: ‘It’s a real pity that the BBC have sidelined Songs of Praise to an earlier slot maybe to affect the viewing figures. In the chaos of today’s world with Trump and the carnage of Brexit I feel we need faith programmes more than ever.’

Even non-religious people showed support for the programme with one tweeting: ‘I am not religious at all but I feel that should not be lost. Maybe they need to introduce songs from different religions too. It seems sad that religion often seems too controversial to embrace.’

However, others argued that the show had ‘already been decimated by the BBC’ as it had lost its ‘original value’ and veered away from Christian worship becoming more of a gospel music programme.

‘I welcome a mix of all faith denominations in the programme but not a takeover,’ tweeted one viewer.

Others pointed out that the new time slot might lead to some viewers being unable to watch the programme when it is first aired, as it might clash with church services or congregations might not be able to get home in time for it.

However the BBC said the decision was due to ensure consistency in scheduling.

A BBC spokesperson told The Catholic Universe: “Songs of Praise has moved to a new time on Sundays to ensure consistency in scheduling, making it easier to find for viewers and to avoid the programme being displaced by sporting events which can often overrun.”

Picture: Pam Rhodes, Aled Jones, Diane-Louise Jordan – Songs of Praise presenters. (BBC/Emilie Sandy).