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02 Jun 2023

CTVC wins £8m Songs of Praise tender

Pilgrimage indie succeed Afanti and Nine Lives to produce flagship BBC1 show.

Pilgrimage indie CTVC has won an £8m competitive tender to produce BBC1’s flagship religious programme Songs of Praise for two years.

It marks the first time a BBC tender for a non-current affairs show has passed from indie to indie, after Afanti and Nine Lives agreed to end their five year partnership. It is also the second time the programme has been put out to tender, with BBC Studios producing the programme until 2016.

Out of four shortlisted contenders, CTVC’s bid scored highest against the published criteria across editorial proposal and capability, value for money, how it delivers against the BBC’s strategic priorities and risk.

CTVC will produce 51 episodes per year, inheriting a £4m annual spend. The episodes, starting in June, will be split between 44 x 34-minute weekly episodes and seven specials.

Producing religion and ethically-focused programmes including Kids Who Care and The Right Thing series (both for BBC World Service) CTVC also has BBC2 returner Pilgrimage: The Road Through Portugal airing this month.

The Bafta-winning indie is also a registered charity that receives a grant from the Rank Foundation – which works to support young and disadvantaged people in the UK.

BBC head of religion & ethics TV Daisy Scalchi said Songs of Praise is “in very safe hands and will continue to thrive in the years ahead.”

She added: “This was an extremely competitive bidding process and we would like to commend the shortlisted producers for the high quality and comprehensive bids they put forward.”

CTVC’s chief executive Caroline Matthews said: ”Songs of Praise is a British Institution with a wide and loyal audience, and we are excited to be guiding it through its next evolution.”

The show was put out to tender in May alongside Antiques Roadshow, which was awarded back to BBC Studios in December.

Question Time is understood to be the first series to have been made by one indie (Brook Lapping) and then subsequently won by another (Mentorn).