UK

Songs Of Praise Broadcast From Calais Migrant Camp, And (Almost) Everyone Enjoyed It

16/08/2015 21:08 BST | Updated 16/08/2015 21:59 BST
Yui Mok/PA Wire
File photo dated 30/07/15 of worshippers attending an Ethiopian Orthodox church erected in the migrant camp known as the new Jungle in Calais, France. Filming BBC's Songs of Praise from the migrant camp has been defended by the channel's head of religion who said the programme is not just about music.

A controversial decision to broadcast an episode of the BBC's Songs of Praise from a migrant camp in Calais known as the "jungle" has gone down surprisingly well, if social media is any judge.

The programme had attracted criticism for being political and wasting licence-fee payers money. The show also won some high-profile backers, with Harry Potter author JK Rowling attacking a critical Daily Express front page.

However after airing on Sunday evening, viewers took to Twitter to praise the show for its move, with viewers calling it "moving, "unbiased", "hard-hitting" and "humane".

SEE ALSO: Of course Songs of Praise should be broadcast from Calais

The programme saw presenter Sally Magnusson to a make shift Church set up by Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians, including a student called Nima, who said the congregation prayed to angel Gabriel to save their lives.

songs of praise

The programme was broadcast from a church in the Calais 'jungle'

Another migrant called Daniel, from Sudan, said he attempted to cross the Channel every night.

Aaqil Ahmed, the head of religion and ethics at the BBC, explained earlier that "the programme is looking at how people express their faith, it is not a political statement on the situation or a judgement on migration."

"Songs of Praise is simply reflecting the conversations going on in many churches and Christian households around the country," he wrote.

However not everyone greeted the programme with applause. Over at the Mail online anger abounded on the message boards, with "go away, you're not welcome", one of the most popular comments on the story.