The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, started out by admitting that he did not listen to the BBC’s Thought for the Day. He has now told the Radio Times that religion should be incorporated into mainstream programmes, rather than kept behind closed doors. In a multicultural society, he says, “knowing, understanding and celebrating the faiths of our neighbours will help us all to flourish”.
This is admirable open-mindedness from a religious leader, especially one who heads an established Church. And his enthusiasm, especially for reality TV, is something he should be taken up on. But if religion is to be freed from Thought for the Day and Songs of Praise, what is to replace them? Perhaps, this time, the BBC is a step ahead. Its new mini-feature, Tweet of the Day – birdsong with David Attenborough – is wasted before the 6am news. Ten to eight would be just the ticket.