Songs of Praise is a familiar and much-loved part of the television landscape. Regularly watched by five million people, its unique blend of vibrant hymn-singing, uplifting human stories and beautiful locations has won it a treasured place in the hearts of the nation.
It all began in 1961, and in this book Andrew Barr, producer of the programme for 30 years, traces the story from the first broadcast to the present day. With a lightness of touch, and drawing on previously unseen backstage photographs, he brings the history of Songs of Praise to life. He recounts amusing anecdotes, reveals a behind-the-scenes view of how a programme is put together, looks back at the most inspirational of the interviews, explores some of the more unusual and imaginative locations and props, and shows how the programme has responded to changing musical styles and tastes. We meet our favourite presenters from past to present and reflect on the undiminishing glory of the hymns which make the programme special personal for so many of us.
‘Songs of Praise: The Nation’s Favourite’ is a book to entertain, to reawaken fond memories, to inform and, above all, to inspire. It is a must for all those whose lives have been touched by this most popular of television series.
Andrew Barr has spent more than 30 years making religious television programmes for both ITV and the BBC. Until June 2000 he was BBC Scotland’s head of education and religious broadcasting. He currently chairs GRF Christian Radio, an award-winning team of volunteers making Christian radio programmes, as well as the advisory committee for the Media and Theology Project based at New College, Edinburgh.
Born in Kent, he now lives with his wife Liz in the Midlothian countryside outside Scotland’s capital city.