Making the all-time shortlist for “things we weren’t expecting to report today,” it’s been announced that Songs of Praise is adding a new presenter to its roster – former JLS member JB Gill, leaving his boy-band days behind him to join Aled Jones and the team in the BBC’s flagship religious programme.
“BBC One’s Songs of Praise has played an integral part to my childhood,” said the 30-year-old Gill, who was recently interviewed about his Christian Faith on the show.
“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!”
“JB Gill is a fantastic addition to the Songs of Praise presenting team,” added the BBC’s Religion and Ethics Commissioning Editor Fatima Salaria.
“Audiences young and old will enjoy the love of performance and commitment to faith he brings to his features.”
JLS’ original X Factor audition
According to the BBC, former X Factor contestant Gill will be a features presenter on the programme, with his first appearance this Sunday seeing him try out a trend for camping in historical churches (“champing”) and interviewing legendary gospel singer Jimmy Carter of The Blind Boys of Alabama.
Other presenters on the series will remain the same, with the “full family” including Jones, Katherine Jenkins, Sean Fletcher, Josie d’Arby, Claire McCollum, Sally Magnusson, Rev. Kate Bottley, Pam Rhodes, Connie Fisher and David Grant.
Still, no word yet on whether this means we can expect any guest appearances from Aston, Oritsé and Marvin – we bet they’d make terrific choristers.
Songs of Praise airs on BBC1 this Sunday 20th August at 2:15pm