50th Birthday Celebration Songs of Praise


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50th Birthday Celebration

Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight and LeAnn Rimes star in an anniversary spectacular from London's Alexandra Palace, hosted by Aled Jones.


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Hello and welcome to Alexandra Palace for a very special occasion

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in the history of Songs Of Praise.

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On October 1st, 1961, a new programme of hymn singing

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was broadcast for the first time on BBC television.

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It's been broadcast every week since then.

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So, half a century on, why don't you join us

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to celebrate the 50th birthday of Songs Of Praise?

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On stage for this evening's concert, Katherine Jenkins,

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Beverley Knight,

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LeAnn Rimes...

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..and Andrea Bocelli.

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And Sally and Diane will be meeting just some of our audience.

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Happy...birthday...Songs Of Praise!

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Happy birthday, Songs Of Praise!

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And more than 6,000 voices doing what Songs Of Praise does best -

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singing hymns and inspirational songs.

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Alexandra Palace, or Ally Pally as it's affectionately known,

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provides a stunning setting for our birthday celebrations.

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It started life as an exhibition centre

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back in 1873 and, before long,

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Victorian Londoners were coming here to enjoy great events

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and these parklands and gardens.

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And, today, it's our great gathering.

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People have travelled from far and wide to join the party.

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Ally Pally is one of many beautiful and iconic locations

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that Songs Of Praise has visited over the past 50 years.

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Like many of the presenters, I've had the privilege of visiting

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so many amazing places in this country.

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But what makes them really special is the people!

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CHEERING

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I've been watching Songs Of Praise for 50 years.

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Have you really?

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Since 1961. In the early days, when television was very small.

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But what was coming from Songs Of Praise was beautiful.

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And, of course, Katherine Jenkins is here.

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-Oh, yes(!)

-And she's got two very nice frocks, I guarantee you.

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Beautiful voice and looks stunning.

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It's just an oasis of goodness, I think.

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On a Sunday, it's a regular little slot. You can watch it.

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This towering transmitter is a beacon on the landscape of North London,

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but it also stands as a reminder of the BBC's

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close connection with this astonishing building.

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In the mid-1930s, the Corporation chose Alexandra Palace

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as the location for an exciting new project - the very first

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television broadcast made by the BBC came from here, 75 years ago.

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Compared to that, Songs Of Praise is a mere youngster.

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APPLAUSE

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We're here on this special occasion to enjoy not just the music,

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the singing, but the company.

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I know we said "don't wear black and white,"

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but you have sort of taken it to an extreme! You look great!

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Yes. Patriotic.

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-And it's Sunday, to me, to watch Songs Of Praise.

-Yes.

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And I shall probably go home

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and in my brain, all night, I shall be singing the hymns.

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I was just trying to think what a group of presenters would be called.

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I think it's a "pedigree", especially with you three.

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-How nice.

-So, Martin Muncaster, Bruce Parker and Tom Coyne.

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-Now, who was on Songs Of Praise the earliest?

-I suppose I was.

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I was in the '60s, when I was about ten.

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I just had such, such great fun doing it and lots of laughs.

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And I think that's what I remember, the joy that it brought me

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and, hopefully, other people as well, through doing the programme.

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# Guide me, O thou great redeemer

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# Pilgrim through this barren land. #

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-Great!

-I'm not sure whether that's in tune or not.

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Over the last few days, the magnificent Great Hall here

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has been transformed from a gigantic, empty space

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into a magnificent concert venue,

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that resembles something of a cathedral

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with its own rose window and famous Willis organ.

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Rehearsals have been taking place all day as the choirs, orchestra

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and special guests make their final preparations.

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'Ladies and gentlemen, your host for this evening, Aled Jones!'

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APPLAUSE

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Well, you look absolutely stunning.

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Are you in fine voice, ladies and gentlemen?

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AUDIENCE: Yes!

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That's the right answer!

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Our first hymn is not only one of the most popular ever sung,

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it's the one we've adopted as our very own. You'll know what I mean when we get to the third verse.

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It's Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.

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It's quite overwhelming to see so many friends here with us in Alexandra Palace

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to celebrate our special birthday.

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It's a particular joy and privilege to be joined by so many regular Songs Of Praise viewers.

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Give yourselves a round of applause, why don't you?

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APPLAUSE

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And, of course, just some of those who've presented

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or taken part in the programme over the years.

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Not everyone can be with us and we think about them this evening as well,

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especially our dear friends Sir Harry Secombe and Dame Thora Hird.

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APPLAUSE

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But, do you know what?

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-I reckon they're probably up there, enjoying the party with us. What do you think?

-ALL: Yes!

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It's a real pleasure to introduce the first of our special guests,

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an internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano. She often tops the classical charts,

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not to mention her many television appearances, including Doctor Who.

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I'm really jealous about that one!

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And she's always been a great friend of Songs Of Praise.

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Singing Love Divine to the wonderful Welsh tune Blaenwern,

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please welcome Katherine Jenkins!

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APPLAUSE

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# Love divine, all loves excelling

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# Joy of heaven to Earth come down

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# Fix in us thy humble dwelling

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# All thy faithful mercies crown

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# Jesu, thou art all compassion

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# Pure, unbounded love thou art

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# Visit us with thy salvation

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# Enter every trembling heart

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# Come, almighty, to deliver

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# Let us all thy life receive

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# Suddenly return and never

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# Never more thy temples leave. #

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# Thee we would be always blessing

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# Serve thee as thy hosts above

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# Pray and praise thee without ceasing

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# Glory in thy perfect love

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# Finish then thy new creation

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# Pure and spotless, let us be

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# Let us see thy great salvation

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# Perfectly restored in thee

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# Changed from glory into glory

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# Till in heaven we take our place

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# Till we cast our crowns before thee

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# Lost in wonder, love and praise. #

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APPLAUSE

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Katherine Jenkins, ladies and gentlemen!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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That was amazing.

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Having you on Songs Of Praise is as natural as breathing.

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You really do feel at home here, don't you?

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I really do. I feel so grateful.

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I've been involved in Songs Of Praise from the beginning of my career

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and it's a real honour to be asked back. So I'm happy to be here.

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I need to ask you this question, OK? Did you watch it as a child?

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Oh, I honestly did. I watched it with my nana and my nana would sing along.

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However, she was tone deaf!

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So the hymns didn't quite sound like they were meant to

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but they're brilliant memories.

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What about since singing professionally?

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You've been on so many times. You must have amazing memories.

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So many and it's hard to pick one.

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If I had to, it would be Blenheim Palace.

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You know, such a gorgeous setting, outdoors,

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the sun came out and it was fantastic.

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You're going to sing again, which I'm delighted about.

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An iconic hymn. Any clues as to what it is?

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-Well, you've put me on the spot now!

-I have.

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I think it's a hymn we associate with being British, I would say.

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OK. Is that all you're saying?

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-A patriotic hymn. Do you want me to introduce it?

-No, not yet!

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You're not going to sing it yet.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the wonderful Katherine Jenkins!

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APPLAUSE

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Our Songs of Praise 50th birthday choir here on stage

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is made up of some of the very best youth choirs in the UK,

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all of whom have close connections with the programme.

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They'll sing a toe-tapper now,

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O When The Saints Go Marching In.

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ALL: Yeah!

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APPLAUSE

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It's a great honour to introduce our next guest,

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arguably the most popular classical artist in the world,

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with a voice perfectly comfortable singing opera,

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sacred music or popular ballads.

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It's been said that if God had a singing voice,

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it would sound a lot like the one you're about to hear.

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High praise indeed! And deservedly so.

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Singing Ave Maria, it's Andrea Bocelli!

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APPLAUSE

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# Ave Maria

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# Gratia plena

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# Maria gratia plena

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# Maria gratia plena

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# Dominus

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# Dominus tecum

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# Benedicta tu in mulieribus

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# Et benedictus

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# Benedictus fructus ventris

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# Ventris tui, Jesus

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# Ave Maria

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# Ave Maria

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# Mater Dei

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# Ora pro nobis peccatoribus

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# Ora, ora pro nobis

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# Ora, ora pro nobis

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# Peccatoribus

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# Nunc et in hora mortis

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# In hora mortis nostrae

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# In hora, hora mortis nostrae

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# In hora mortis nostrae

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# Ave Maria

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# Ave Maria

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# Ave Maria. #

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APPLAUSE

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Andrea Bocelli, ladies and gentlemen!

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Andrea, I think they like you.

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LAUGHTER

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How do you feel when you're singing something like that Ave Maria?

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My answer is very simple.

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When I sing Ave Maria, or other sacred arias,

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I pray.

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You can tell, can't you, ladies and gentlemen?

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APPLAUSE

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We're celebrating a very important birthday.

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Have you got a message for our viewers?

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Well, um...we are living a very difficult moment.

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My message is to be optimistic and happy.

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Well, you most definitely make us happy, Andrea.

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APPLAUSE

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The good news is, ladies and gentlemen,

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Andrea will be back later to sing something very special indeed.

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But, for now, it's Andrea Bocelli!

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you.

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Well, we're joined by a great, old lady now.

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Yes, I am allowed to say that

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because I'm talking about the Ally Pally organ.

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It's the second Willis organ to be installed in the building.

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The first was destroyed by fire.

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In fact, this one almost suffered a similar fate.

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Luckily, it survived and you'll hear it in our next hymn which was,

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in fact, written to dedicate a new pipe organ

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in a church in Lancashire in 1861.

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It's Angel-Voices Ever Singing.

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Well, I'm absolutely thrilled to welcome our next guest.

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She's an award-winning American singer

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who released her first album aged 13

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and has made her name singing classic country songs

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and inspirational music.

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An amazing 40 million albums later,

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her career is clearly going from strength to strength

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and we're delighted to have her with us.

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She's flown across the pond specially.

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Please give a very warm welcome to LeAnn Rimes!

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APPLAUSE

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Welcome to the UK.

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-Thank you so much.

-Thanks for coming to sing for us.

-Happy to be here.

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-That's dedication, isn't it, ladies and gentlemen?

-I love it!

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You've had a phenomenal year. Well, every year's phenomenal. What are the highlights?

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Oh, my gosh! The highlights in my life?

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-Just the year!

-This year? Well, I got married.

-Oh!

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-Well, that was a highlight!

-Yes!

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When you were growing up, was there anything like Songs Of Praise on TV?

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Um...not really.

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We had, like, in Nashville we had Sundays At The Grand Ole Opry

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but nothing like this on TV. This is truly unique.

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Absolutely.

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And you're well known for singing inspirational pieces of music.

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How do you feel on a platform like this,

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performing in front of thousands?

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Um...I guess I've been doing it since I was a baby,

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so this feels like second nature to me.

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It feels...I feel most comfortable on stage. I love it!

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Do you feel it's a spiritual experience?

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Absolutely. I feel I'm the most open and giving and, you know,

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at my most vulnerable when you're up on stage in front of millions.

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So what are you going to sing for us?

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-My new single, which is called Give.

-And what's it all about?

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Give...it's about giving!

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No. When we think of giving in this world,

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we always think of money and donating to charity

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but what we forget is that sometimes we're here, as human beings,

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to give to one another of ourselves.

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-That's really what the message of the song is.

-We're delighted you're here.

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Thank you, LeAnn. We can't wait to hear this song.

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-Singing Give, the one and only LeAnn Rimes.

-Thank you.

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APPLAUSE

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# Everybody's reaching for something

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# Every day a pulling and tugging

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# And always wanting a little more

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# Holding on to hurt like an anchor

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# Treating those we love like strangers

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# Taking names and keeping score

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# We all know

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# What we're really after

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# Somewhere along the road

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# We got it backwards

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# If you want to get love then give it

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# If you want to feel some forgiveness

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# Then you've got to let go and do some forgiving of your own

0:29:260:29:32

# If you want a friend then be one

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# A little bit of kindness show some

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# You'll be surprised at how much finds its way back home

0:29:390:29:45

# It don't matter what it is

0:29:450:29:51

# If you want it, give

0:29:510:30:00

# Yeah, I been down right stubborn

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# At one time or another

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# And found it easier to bend

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# Oh, yeah

0:30:140:30:16

# I've had a shoulder to lean on

0:30:160:30:20

# Been the one who got to be strong

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# And peace was waiting at both ends

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# Well, I've felt the power

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# I've seen what it can do

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# It seemed so simple

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# So simple that it's true

0:30:440:30:51

# If you want to give love then give it

0:30:510:30:54

# If you want to feel some forgiveness

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# Then you've got to let go and do some forgiving of your own

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# If you want a friend then be one

0:31:040:31:07

# A little bit of kindness show some

0:31:070:31:11

# You'll be surprised at how much finds its way back home

0:31:110:31:17

# It don't matter what it is

0:31:170:31:23

# If you want it, give

0:31:230:31:32

# Hey, yeah

0:31:400:31:42

# If you want a friend then be one

0:31:420:31:45

# A little bit of kindness show some

0:31:450:31:49

# You'll be surprised at how much finds its way back home

0:31:490:31:55

# It don't matter what it is

0:31:550:32:01

# If you want it, give

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# Oh, just show a little kindness, baby

0:32:160:32:22

# Oh, yeah, if you only give

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# Yeah

0:32:300:32:34

# Ooh

0:32:340:32:41

# Ooh

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# Yeah, if you only give. #

0:32:500:32:59

APPLAUSE

0:33:070:33:10

Thank you.

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The legendary LeAnn Rimes and her guitarist, Gregory!

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CHEERS

0:33:270:33:29

Well, it's time to get the Ally Pally rocking.

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Yes, you heard me right. We've got a fabulous gospel song coming up

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and to sing it are members of the London Community Gospel Choir.

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Great to have you with us, guys, along with our next guest.

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Well known for her soul music,

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she's even received an MBE from the Queen.

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She must be doing something right. Please welcome Beverley Knight!

0:33:480:33:51

APPLAUSE AND CHEERS

0:33:510:33:53

-You love a crowd like this, don't you?

-This is my kind of crowd -

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vast!

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LAUGHTER

0:34:100:34:11

Listen, you're known as the Queen of Soul but I want to take you back

0:34:110:34:15

-to when you were a child cos it was all about gospel and church and a lot of both.

-Absolutely!

0:34:150:34:20

Absolutely.

0:34:200:34:22

I'm glad for it because I believe that musically,

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as well as everything else, it put me on the right path.

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I think, um...when you go into a church

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and are asked to sing a song,

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it's not just all about you and your voice and all of that,

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it's about delivering a message.

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And that is the one thing that I'd say singing in church

0:34:430:34:47

really drums home into you.

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When you were a small kid in church, listening to those great singers,

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your mum included - she sang quite a bit in church?

0:34:530:34:56

-Yes, she did. She did.

-She's here this evening, Grace?

0:34:560:34:59

-She is, she's somewhere!

-How did you feel as a little one?

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Did you think, "I want to do that one day"?

0:35:030:35:05

Oh, I was ready! I was almost out of my seat. "It's my turn now!"

0:35:050:35:09

Oh, I absolutely wanted to do that SO much.

0:35:090:35:13

It wasn't just the idea of just being in front of a crowd,

0:35:130:35:18

it was the joy of singing

0:35:180:35:20

and really bringing over a message. I loved it.

0:35:200:35:25

How do you feel on a platform like this, singing a soul or gospel song?

0:35:250:35:30

Well, there's not much of a difference, to be perfectly honest.

0:35:300:35:35

Again, it is using your voice as a vessel to communicate something.

0:35:350:35:40

It is, I don't know...

0:35:400:35:42

it's the most heightened emotion you can ever feel.

0:35:420:35:46

You know all about that!

0:35:460:35:48

It elevates you to another plane. It edifies you

0:35:480:35:52

and hopefully it edifies the audience, as well.

0:35:520:35:55

-What are you going to sing and why?

-I and the lovely choir,

0:35:550:36:01

we're going to sing a song called I'm Not Forgotten

0:36:010:36:04

by gospel artist Israel Houghton.

0:36:040:36:07

And, um...the reason I wanted to sing this song is because...

0:36:070:36:12

just over a year ago I lost my father and,

0:36:120:36:16

um...I always turn to music as a solace,

0:36:160:36:19

as somewhere to hide, you know?

0:36:190:36:21

This song literally got myself and my family through that tough time.

0:36:210:36:25

Thank you very much. Let's hear it.

0:36:250:36:27

Beverley Knight and the London Community Gospel Choir

0:36:270:36:31

with I Am Not Forgotten!

0:36:310:36:33

APPLAUSE

0:36:330:36:34

# I am not forgotten

0:36:480:36:51

# I am not forgotten

0:36:510:36:53

# I am not forgotten

0:36:530:36:56

# God knows my name

0:36:560:36:58

# I am not forgotten

0:36:580:37:01

# I am not forgotten

0:37:010:37:03

# I am not forgotten

0:37:030:37:06

# God knows my name

0:37:060:37:08

# He knows my name

0:37:080:37:10

# Yeah

0:37:140:37:17

# Sing it! I am not forgotten

0:37:180:37:21

# I am not forgotten

0:37:210:37:24

# I am not forgotten

0:37:240:37:27

# God knows my name

0:37:270:37:28

# Hey, yes

0:37:280:37:30

# I am not forgotten

0:37:300:37:32

# I am not forgotten

0:37:320:37:34

# I am not forgotten

0:37:340:37:36

# God knows my

0:37:360:37:38

# He knows my name

0:37:380:37:41

# Ooh, yes

0:37:440:37:47

# Light over darkness

0:37:490:37:51

# Strength over weakness

0:37:510:37:54

# Joy over sadness

0:37:540:37:56

# He knows my name

0:37:560:37:58

# He knows my name

0:37:580:37:59

# Father to the fatherless

0:37:590:38:01

# Friend to the friendless

0:38:010:38:04

# Hope for the hopeless

0:38:040:38:06

# He knows my name

0:38:060:38:08

# He knows my name

0:38:080:38:10

-# Oh, I will praise him

-I will praise him

0:38:100:38:12

-# I will lift my hands

-I will praise him

0:38:120:38:15

-# I am fearfully

-I am fearfully

0:38:150:38:17

# And wonderfully made

0:38:170:38:19

# Everybody sing

0:38:190:38:21

# I am not forgotten

0:38:210:38:23

# I am not forgotten

0:38:230:38:26

# I am not forgotten

0:38:260:38:28

# God knows my name

0:38:280:38:30

# Ooh, yes!

0:38:300:38:32

# I am not forgotten

0:38:320:38:33

-# Yes, he does!

-I am not forgotten

0:38:330:38:35

-# Never!

-I am not forgotten

0:38:350:38:39

# God knows my name

0:38:390:38:40

# He knows my name

0:38:400:38:43

# I am not forgotten

0:38:570:39:03

# Never forsaken

0:39:030:39:08

# I am not forgotten

0:39:080:39:14

# Never forsaken

0:39:140:39:20

# I am not forgotten

0:39:200:39:25

-# Never!

-Never forsaken

0:39:250:39:29

# I am not forgotten

0:39:290:39:31

# I am not forgotten

0:39:310:39:35

# Never forsaken

0:39:350:39:37

# Never forsaken

0:39:370:39:39

# Ooh, yeah

0:39:390:39:41

-# I am not forgotten

-I am

0:39:410:39:44

-# I am not forgotten

-Never!

0:39:440:39:46

# I am not forgotten

0:39:460:39:47

# God knows my name, yes He does

0:39:470:39:51

-# I am not forgotten

-Never!

0:39:510:39:53

# I am not forgotten

0:39:530:39:56

# I am not forgotten

0:39:560:39:59

# God knows my name

0:39:590:40:01

# He knows my name

0:40:010:40:03

# Yeah!

0:40:040:40:08

# Light over darkness

0:40:130:40:16

# Strength over weakness

0:40:160:40:21

# He knows my name! #

0:40:210:40:23

APPLAUSE

0:40:230:40:27

The London Community Gospel Choir and Beverley Knight, ladies and gentlemen!

0:40:300:40:34

APPLAUSE

0:40:340:40:37

Next, a fine old hymn written in 1905

0:40:470:40:50

and in the last few years revived by worship leader

0:40:500:40:53

and songwriter Chris Tomlin, who's given it a new twist.

0:40:530:40:56

It's become popular in many churches and if you don't know it,

0:40:560:41:00

you'll soon pick up the catchy chorus.

0:41:000:41:03

APPLAUSE

0:44:430:44:45

Absolutely brilliant.

0:44:490:44:50

Another showstopper now, in quite a different way.

0:44:500:44:53

This is a hymn that's often sung on great occasions,

0:44:530:44:56

in church, yes, but also to mark major sporting events,

0:44:560:45:00

or meetings of organisations, including the Women's Institute

0:45:000:45:03

and party political conferences.

0:45:030:45:06

Katherine Jenkins leads us

0:45:060:45:07

in the words of William Blake's inspired poem.

0:45:070:45:11

# And did those feet in ancient time

0:45:290:45:35

# Walk upon England's mountains green?

0:45:350:45:41

# And was the holy Lamb of God

0:45:410:45:47

# On England's pleasant pastures seen?

0:45:470:45:53

# And did thy countenance divine

0:45:530:45:59

# Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

0:45:590:46:05

# And was Jerusalem builded here

0:46:050:46:12

# Among those dark satanic mills...? #

0:46:120:46:19

APPLAUSE

0:47:350:47:39

Now, what promises to be yet another high point

0:47:450:47:48

in our 50th birthday celebrations,

0:47:480:47:50

with his personal interpretation of one of the most famous

0:47:500:47:53

and best-loved spiritual songs ever written, it's Andrea Bocelli!

0:47:530:47:57

APPLAUSE

0:47:570:48:01

# Amazing grace

0:48:080:48:16

# How sweet the sound

0:48:160:48:24

# That saved a wretch like me

0:48:240:48:37

# I once was lost

0:48:370:48:43

# But now am found

0:48:430:48:51

# Was blind but now I see

0:48:510:49:05

# Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

0:49:050:49:17

# And grace my fears relieved

0:49:170:49:29

# How precious did that grace appear

0:49:290:49:40

# The hour I first believed

0:49:400:49:50

# Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail

0:49:570:50:08

# And mortal life shall cease

0:50:080:50:19

# I shall possess within the veil

0:50:190:50:30

# A life of joy and peace

0:50:300:50:42

# Amazing grace

0:50:430:50:48

# How sweet the sound

0:50:480:50:53

# That saved a wretch like me

0:50:530:51:04

# I once was lost

0:51:040:51:11

# But now am found

0:51:110:51:16

# Was blind but now I see

0:51:160:51:32

# Was blind but now I see. #

0:51:330:52:05

APPLAUSE

0:52:070:52:09

Ladies and gentlemen, it doesn't get better than that. Andrea Bocelli!

0:52:140:52:19

CHEERS

0:52:190:52:22

Our next hymn has words written

0:52:340:52:36

by the prolific hymn writer Fanny Crosby.

0:52:360:52:38

But it wasn't popular when it first appeared in the 1870s.

0:52:380:52:42

It wasn't until it was revived by Billy Graham in 1954

0:52:420:52:45

as part of his London Crusade that its potential was realised.

0:52:450:52:49

It's also become a firm favourite

0:52:490:52:51

with the millions who watch Songs Of Praise every week.

0:52:510:52:54

So let's raise the roof with

0:52:540:52:56

To God Be The Glory Great Things He Hath Done.

0:52:560:52:59

APPLAUSE

0:56:200:56:24

We're almost at the end of our 50th birthday celebration.

0:56:300:56:33

Thank you very much for joining us and singing along.

0:56:330:56:36

It means a tremendous amount to all of us here on the programme

0:56:360:56:40

that you join us every week, so keep doing it, OK?

0:56:400:56:43

We start our 51st year next week with a visit to Salisbury,

0:56:430:56:47

where I meet some of the residents fortunate enough

0:56:470:56:50

to live in the beautiful Cathedral Close,

0:56:500:56:52

though I discover that one inhabitant is pretty tricky to find.

0:56:520:56:55

And there'll be wonderful hymns from a congregation in full voice in the cathedral -

0:56:550:57:00

one of the world's most stunning church buildings.

0:57:000:57:03

Once again, please thank our special guests,

0:57:030:57:06

Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight, LeAnn Rimes and Andrea Bocelli!

0:57:060:57:11

APPLAUSE AND CHEERS

0:57:110:57:14

And with them, Pam Rhodes, Sally Magnusson and Diane Louise Jordan!

0:57:140:57:17

APPLAUSE

0:57:170:57:20

One more thing. It wouldn't be a birthday without one special song,

0:57:200:57:24

so let's all sing this together.

0:57:240:57:26

Many thanks for celebrating with us. Here's to the next 50 years.

0:57:260:57:30

Goodbye for now!

0:57:300:57:31

# Happy birthday to you

0:57:380:57:43

# Happy birthday to you

0:57:430:57:47

# Happy birthday dear Songs Of Praise

0:57:470:57:53

# Happy birthday to you! #

0:57:530:58:05

CHEERS AND APPLAUSE

0:58:050:58:08

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:58:450:58:49

E-mail [email protected]

0:58:490:58:52

Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Beverley Knight and LeAnn Rimes star in a spectacular anniversary programme from London's Alexandra Palace, hosted by Aled Jones and featuring glorious hymn singing with a congregation of more than six thousand voices.