Songs of Praise welcomes boybander as VERY unlikely new host

Will he bring in a new audience of his devout followers?

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JLS star JB Gill is to swap the pop hits for church hymns as he joins the Songs Of Praise presenting team.

The singer – one quarter of the chart-topping boy band who split in 2013 – will make his first appearance on the BBC’s flagship religious programme this Sunday as features presenter.

The 30-year-old joins a presenting team led by Aled Jones and will mark his debut episode by spending the night in the grounds of a historic Shropshire church as he samples a new form of holidaying known as champing.

Gill will also turn interviewer as he meets one of the founders of Grammy award-winning gospel band The Blind Boys Of Alabama.

It comes a month after he appeared on the show to discuss his Christian faith with Jones and performed You Raise Me Up.

Gill said the show “played an integral part” in his childhood, adding: “I remember growing up watching and singing along to all of the hymns, many of which I’d learnt during hymn practice at my Church of England Primary School.

“Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited to be taking on this new role as a Songs of Praise presenter.”

“I’m especially looking forward to combining my faith with my love of music, performing and my passion for the outdoors. Hopefully you’ll also get to see me sing a few more hymns along the way,” he said.

Fatima Salaria, commissioning editor of religion and ethics, said: “JB Gill is a fantastic addition to the Songs of Praise presenting team.

“Audiences young and old will enjoy the love of performance and commitment to faith he brings to his features.”

:: Songs Of Praise airs Sunday at 2.15pm on BBC One.