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Holy smoke: religion and television's uneasy pact

8 November 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Comedy priests, Songs of Praise and Thought for the Day: is there more to religious broadcasting than satire and 'God slots'? Mark Lawson reports on TV's modern crisis of faith

The most commonly accepted measures of success in television are longevity and prizes. By these lights, religious broadcasting is currently in impressive shape. Songs of Praise, BBC1's televised church service, has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, a Methuselah-like span in a medium of brief fashions, while ecclesiastical sit-com Rev returns to BBC2 for a second series tomorrow, having won not only a specialist gong (a Sandford St Martin award for religious broadcasting) but also a Bafta for best comedy.

Older members of the viewing congregation will, however, note that there is now far less religious – or, today's preferred term, "faith" – programming than there was. A believer time-travelling to the 1980s would find a devotional show in every section of »

- Mark Lawson

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1 item from 2011


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