Entertainment

Sunday 24 September 2017

Katherine Jenkins signs up as a presenter on Songs Of Praise

She will join hosts including Aled Jones and Pamela Rhodes on the BBC One show.

Katherine Jenkins (BBC/Nine Lives/Avanti)
Katherine Jenkins (BBC/Nine Lives/Avanti)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Katherine Jenkins has landed a new job as a main presenter on Songs Of Praise.

The mezzo-soprano, 37, will join hosts including Aled Jones and Pamela Rhodes on the BBC One show.

“Having watched Songs Of Praise for as long as I can remember and after the many appearances on the show over the past 12 years, it is wonderful to officially become part of the family,” she said.

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Katherine Jenkins filming Songs Of Praise (BBC/Nine Lives/Avanti)

“I am hugely excited about my new role, about working with my friend Aled again and about meeting and worshipping with new people across the country.”

Jenkins shot to fame aged 23 as a classical star.

She later told how she had experimented with cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis before hitting the big time.

Dubbed the forces’ sweetheart, the mother of one will make her debut as a main presenter on the Sunday worship show on July 23, when she will explore the Sussex seaside town of Hastings and listen to “inspiring and uplifting stories of faith in the area”.

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Katherine Jenkins arriving for Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition (Matt Crossick/PA)

She will meet volunteers helping new mothers from a local church and sing the classic hymn Jerusalem.

Earlier this year BBC Studios lost the right to produce the long-running programme, leading to concerns from the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

“I do fear that there will be a loss in the BBC of specialist expertise in broadcast worship, which has been a core element of its public service remit,” he said.

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Katherine Jenkins (Victoria Jones/PA)

The BBC said that the show will “continue to work with its full roster of well-loved hosts”, including Jones and Rhodes.

Sean Fletcher also recently joined the programme as a presenter.

BBC commissioning editor for religion and ethics Fatima Salaria said: “Sean is a highly experienced presenter, while Katherine brings both broadcasting experience and unique talents. I am confident they will be excellent additions to the current much-loved Songs Of Praise presenting team.

“Katherine’s personable approach to faith and worship further enriches this BBC One flagship programme and offers the programme the opportunity to connect, not only with current viewers, but also new audiences.”

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