The BBC has defended a decision to film segments of Songs of Praise from Calais as part of the show’s remit to examine topical and humanitarian issues of the day.
A BBC spokesperson confirmed to The Independent that “a couple of features would come from Calais” but said it was part of the show’s remit to examine “topical issues of the day”.
Although confirming that filming in the camp had taken place, the spokesperson claimed the show's “magazine format” meant the entire programme would not originate from the camp.
The Songs of Praise website lists the programme on Sunday 16 June as “Sally Magnusson joins Christians in the migrant camp known as ‘The Jungle’ near Calais.”
The spokesperson also confirmed the show would not be presented by Aled Jones, who had previously been named as having filmed in Calais.
The story about me filming in Calais this weekend is incorrect - instead I will be on @ITVWeekend from 8.30am Saturday and Sunday.— Aled Jones (@realaled) August 7, 2015
A spokesperson for Mr Jones told The Independent that the presenter was “not involved nor does he know about a Songs of Praise from Calais.”
The apparent decision to film in Calais provoked anger online, with many social media users railing against the broadcaster’s decision to use “taxpayers’ money” to film in the notorious migrants’ camp.
@BBC I really object to having my TV license fee being spent on Songs of Praise going to Calais for illegal migrants— Bezza (@BerylBerylmcgee) August 6, 2015
Now for Songs of Praise... from 'the Jungle' migrant camp in Calais The BBC seems determined to provoke the licence payer beyond reason— David Gunn - UKIP (@DavidAGunn1) August 7, 2015
BBC to broadcast Songs of Praise from migrant camp in Calais the sooner this waste of public money is scrapped the better— David Little (@ukipdealdover) August 7, 2015
However, many also praised the programme for addressing the massive humanitarian disaster outside the French port.
How do I tell songs of praise that I think they're awesome for doing an episode in the migrant camp in Calais? Because I do.— Jennie Rigg (@miss_s_b) August 7, 2015
That last RT: BBC religious show Songs of Praise is going to broadcast from the Calais migrants' camp. Awesome stuff.— Paul_Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) August 7, 2015
Thousands of migrants live in the camp – known as the ‘Jungle’ – outside Calais having fled horrendous conflicts in places such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Campaigners have called for more to be done to help these individuals, many of whom face death each day in desperate attempts to reach the UK.
Songs of Praise, first aired in 1961, is a religious programme that presents Christian hymns.Reuse content