Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 14:00 UK

Bishop angered by Good Friday TV

The bishop advised people to turn off their TVs over Easter

The Bishop of Down and Dromore in Northern Ireland has said people should boycott television on Good Friday.

Reverend Harold Miller said he was "stunned" at broadcasters' offerings after reading TV listings for Easter.

He claimed that there were no additional religious programmes in the schedules, and those listed would "do little to feed our souls".

The BBC said it was committed to offering a wide range of religious programming at Easter.

After reading the Radio Times, the Church of Ireland bishop said he was alarmed to see broadcasters had not made any attempt to produce new religious programmes.

He said the best thing to do "is turn off our television on Good Friday".

Formula One

Bishop Miller said he would have liked to have seen more in depth religious schedules running from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, but instead "pretty well nothing" was on offer.

He pointed out that the morning service which was usually shown on Palm Sunday was "kicked off by the Formula One".

The Bishop stressed that he "no longer expects anything of religious depth from ITV," however "the BBC, as our primary public broadcaster really ought to find some way of recognising and painting the story of Good Friday".

However, he praised the output of Radio Ulster as "almost perfection when it comes to religious broadcasting".

A spokesperson for the BBC said the corporation was offering the same amount of religious output as Easter last year.

Highlights on TV include Joyful Eastertide - a Eucharist for Easter Day, followed by Pope Benedict XVI's traditional Easter message and blessing and an hour-long film for BBC Two from Howard Goodall marking the anniversary of Handel's death.

Radio 3 is broadcasting Festal Evensong live from the Queen's Free Chapel of St George in Windsor.

At BBC Northern Ireland there are dedicated religious programmes over Easter on Radio Ulster including at The Cross on Holy Friday and a special edition of Sounds Classical featuring The Priests in Concert.

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