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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
BBC defends early Easter filming
Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards presents Songs of Praise
The BBC has defended its decision to film its Songs of Praise Easter special in November.

The programme was recorded at the same time as the Christmas edition, at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffs, with changes in lighting and flowers.

The Bishop of Lichfield said the early recording was not a "deliberate deceit" but would give "an air of unreality" to the Easter programme.

A BBC spokeswoman said it was "common practice" to film two shows at once.

She said the double recording was made "perfectly clear" to the cathedral authorities and congregation and producers were making the "best use of resources".

Several newspapers have accused the BBC of "tricking" fans of Songs of Praise, just weeks after Blue Peter apologised for faking the result of a competition in November.

'Wake-up call'

The BBC cookery show Saturday Kitchen is being investigated by the premium phone line regulator Icstis, after it was revealed viewers were encouraged to phone in to a programme not being filmed live.

Speaking on BBC One's Sunday AM earlier this month, BBC director general Mark Thompson called the recent slew of phone-in errors "a wake-up call to the industry".

"Across broadcasting we have to look very, very closely at the way we use phone lines," he said.


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Songs of Praise's executive producer responds



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