the baby and the bathwater


Songs of Praise vs Jonathan Ross
December 9, 2008, 8:56 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There is a great article in the telegraph about songs of praise today. You can read it here.

I once appeared on Songs of Praise. It was some 20 years ago, and I appeared with Graham Kendrick and Ben Castle. Our fledgling worship band at Trinity in Norwich played one of Graham’s finest tunes – Meekness and Majesty.

There – you didn’t know I was so famous with such an auspicious cv in the media, did you?

But let’s face it, if you are anything like me, over the last 20 years you have probably mocked Songs of Praise regularly, with it’s general cheese and old people in hats, introduced by such cheesy characters as Aled Jones. (Although there is one exception – Diane Louise Jordan makes it all worthwhile..). We all have probably publicly mocked it, whilst privately switching it on every now and then on a Sunday evening just to check up on it. Just for educational and information purposes, of course….

Well it now transpires, if we are to believe the Telegraph, that Songs of praise was getting around the same number of viewers each week as Jonathan Ross, until he was ‘rested’ recently following that radio thing. Only of course Jonathan Ross got paid millions of pounds each year, and songs of praise got….well a lot less.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Jonathan Ross disappeared from our screen forever. Admittedly he can be very, very funny, but generally I find his material offensive and overtly sexual and degrading. And of course, now he picked on one of our national treasures (Andrew Sachs) it should be curtains. He may find a home in the US for his awful material – but let the US have him if they want.

But what is more interesting is that, somehow, the British people are valuing Songs of Praise as highly as Jonathan Ross in terms of viewing figures. And now everyone is probably seriously questioning the multi-million price tag he has, up to now, demanded.

My own view is that, whereas over the last 20 years most people have judged things by cost, with the current financial climate, people are now judging things by value. Not only does this hopefully spell the end for Mr Ross, but it also presents us with a huge opportunity to spread and communicate hope that is Jesus Christ. There is an openness to the gospel in a way that hasn’t existed for many, many years. And as The Church we should not be dialing back on our mission, but stepping up to the mark.

And whilst we’re about it, maybe we should start to sing the praises of Songs of Praise just a little bit more.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i never thought that Songs of Praise would be seen as better value than Jonathan Ross.

In fact I would have never compared the two!

Thanks for this insight Neil.

Do you have the footage of your SOP debut? Is it on youtube?

Comment by Ben Mizen

My debut was well before Youtube was even a glint in it’s creator’s wallet.

Comment by Neil Bennetts

Does highlight the amazing double standards used by the Beeb. Also have a Songs of Praise credit to my name, but even further back in the mists of time, about 1977 ish.

Comment by Styx of Rock




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