'Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary' — air date, presenters, and everything we know

Songs of Praise 60th anniversary presenters
Rev. Kate Bottley, Katherine Jenkins, Aled Jones, JB Gill, Laura Wright. (Image credit: BBC/Avanti/Nine Lives Media/Jay Brooks)

The world’s longest-running religious show, Songs of Praise will be 60 this October. 

Having enjoyed 3,000 episodes since it first aired in 1961, it’s only fitting that a glorious show will be put on to celebrate this milestone, filled with famous guests, best-loved hymns and musical collaborations.

There is also a special episode of Songs of Praise, called Where It All Began, that celebrates the anniversary as it will reminisce on memorable moments across the 60-year history of Songs of Praise.

Aled Jones, who has been a presenter on the show for over 20 years, will be hosting the show at Westminster Abbey, along with other new and old presenters, such as Katherine Jenkins, David Grant, and Sally Magnusson.

Aled revealed to the BBC that: “I’ve been a Songs of Praise presenter for over 20 years and it’s one of the biggest joys of my life. It is an honour to be able to share uplifting stories of faith with our dear audience and to gladden hearts with music that means the world to me. Here’s to a future filled with wonderful Songs of Praise!”

When will Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary be on?

The Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary will air on Sunday 3 Oct. on BBC1 at 2:50pm and the special episode of Where It All Began is now available on iPlayer.

What is Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary about?

Songs of Praise continues to reach over one million viewers each week. They will be marking their 60th anniversary with special hymns, guests and exceptional music collaborations played at Westminster Abbey. Some of the music list includes Blessed Assurance by Songs of Praise Gospel Singer of the Year Monique McKen, along with YolanDa Brown and Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace by Laura Wright & Alexander, who is Songs of Praise Young Chorister of the Year.

Patrick Holland, Director Factual, Arts and Classical Music said “For sixty years, Songs of Praise has held a very special place on BBC1. Never has this been more important than the past year, when as churches had to close their doors, Songs of Praise continued to bring together people of faith across the UK every Sunday. It is a great honour to pay tribute to the world’s longest-running religious television programme, long may it continue.”

Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary presenters

There have been 270 presenters on the programme over the years. But the current presenters are: Aled Jones, Pam Rhodes (who is the longest serving presenter), Katherine Jenkins, James Lusted, YolanDa Brown, Radzi Chinyanganya, Sean Fletcher, Claire McCollum, Brenda Edwards, JB Gill, Katie Piper, Gemma Hunt, Laura Wright and Canon Kate Bottley.

Is there a trailer?

There is currently no trailer out for Songs of Praise 60th Anniversary, but there is one out for Where It All Began, which you can watch below, where Aled Jones narrates over a montage of iconic footage with, “Hi, it’s Aled Jones here and this week we’re celebrating our 60th anniversary with a special programme featuring some of the stand-out moments in the history of the series.” He then reveals that he’s in Cardiff, where the first episode of Songs of Praise was made.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a freelancer writer with WhatToWatch.com, and she now writes for our sister site TechRadar. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.