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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Songs Of Praise – interesting facts

Songs Of Praise

The 50th anniversary programme on 2 October will be the 2248th edition

Songs Of Praise has visited over 1,800 different churches, chapels and cathedrals

Songs Of Praise is the world's longest running continuous religious television programme

201 people have presented Songs Of Praise

Songs Of Praise was originally due to run experimentally for 6 weeks

The highest audience of 11.4 million was for a Christmas Day programme from All Souls, Langham Place, London in 1988

The biggest congregation was at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 2nd January 2000 – 65,000 people celebrating the new millennium

The most popular hymn on Songs Of Praise is How Great Thou Art

Pam Rhodes first presented Songs Of Praise in 1987 and has presented more than 300 episodes, over 100 more than the next presenter – Geoffrey Wheeler

Sally Magnusson first presented the programme in 1984

Michael Meech is the earliest known surviving presenter – he presented the 9th programme from Guildhall Portsmouth on 3 December 1961. Michael is still friends with Kenneth Savidge who produced that programme

Those who have presented Songs Of Praise include – Delia Smith, David Bellamy, Sir Jimmy Saville, Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre from Coronation St), Moira Stuart and Sue Pollard

Original broadcasts went out live from churches – many of which were chosen because they happened to be near sports grounds where the outside broadcast vehicles were in use on Saturday afternoons

Interviews were introduced in 1977 to complement the hymn singing

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