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Ex boy band star joins BBC Songs of Praise

Former JLS boy band star JB Gill is to join the BBC Songs of Praise presenting team, making his debut on Sunday (20 August, BBC1 2.15pm).

Thirty-year-old JB will become a Songs Of Praise features presenter. The BBC One flagship religious programme will continue to broadcast with the full team, led by Aled Jones, including Katherine Jenkins, Sean Fletcher, Josie d'Arby, Claire McCollum, Sally Magnusson, Rev. Kate Bottley, Pam Rhodes, Connie Fisher and David Grant.

JB Gill was recently interviewed by Aled Jones about his Christian faith in the Songs Of Praise transmitted from the Chatsworth Flower Show on 2 July and he also performed a moving rendition of You Raise Me Up.

JB Gill says: "BBC One’s Songs of Praise has played an integral part to my childhood. I remember growing up watching and singing along to all of the hymns, many of which I'd learnt during hymn practice at my Church of England Primary School.

“Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited to be taking on this new role as a Songs of Praise presenter. I'm especially looking forward to combining my faith with my love of music, performing and my passion for the outdoors. Hopefully you'll also get to see me sing a few more hymns along the way!"

Nine Lives Media CEO and Executive Producer, Cat Lewis, says: “I think JB Gill is a perfect presenter for Songs of Praise because he’s a natural communicator as well as being a committed Christian with a young family and he has a passion for music.”

Fatima Salaria, Commissioning Editor, Religion and Ethics says: “JB Gill is a fantastic addition to the Songs Of Praise presenting team. Audiences young and old will enjoy the love of performance and commitment to faith he brings to his features.”

In his upcoming episode this Sunday, JB Gill tries a new form of holiday – camping in an historic church, known as 'champing'. He meets Peter Aires from The Churches Conservation Trust to talk about champing as a new way of raising money to help fund the restoration of old churches. To experience champing properly, JB camps out overnight in a beautiful church in Shropshire, with only a slight worry about bumps in the night.

JB Gill also interviews Jimmy Carter, one of the founding members of the legendary Gospel band The Blind Boys Of Alabama, and finds out how faith has driven him to carry on performing for the past seven decades.

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