Songs Of Praise edition to be broadcast from Jungle migrant camp in Calais


An edition of BBC Songs Of Praise is to be broadcast from a migrant camp in Calais, amid an ongoing crisis which has seen at least nine people die attempting to cross from France into the UK.

Producers have been filming at a church in the Jungle area, the base for thousands of migrants who are trying to reach the Britain illegally, The Sun reported.

An estimated 5,000 migrants displaced from countries including Syria, Libya and Eritrea are now believed to be camped in and around Calais, and at least nine have died while trying to make the crossing into Britain since June.

The full crew for Songs Of Praise, including host Aled Jones, is due to arrive at the site this weekend, the newspaper said.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Songs Of Praise is a magazine style programme. Each week it brings hymns from churches around the UK and short topical magazine features of interest to Christians from a range of places."

It is understood that the programme would not be a live special, but a standard one following the usual format. It would not be broadcast this Sunday.

An unprecedented surge in migrants attempting to cross the Channel has prompted a string of measures to increase security at the terminal, including extra fencing and the deployment of more border force search and dog teams.

The resulting disruption in the UK has put police and social services in Kent under strain, while hauliers' groups claim the economy is losing millions of pounds.

Kent County Council has admitted it has no more foster beds available to accommodate unaccompanied asylum seeking children arriving in the county.

On Tuesday evening a man was found inside the 31-mile long Channel Tunnel, near its exit at Folkestone, Kent.

The suspected illegal immigrant, understood to be Sudanese, is thought to have walked nearly the entire length of the Chunnel from Calais.

Kent Police said Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, has been charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

There have been nightly incursions of the Tunnel by migrants.

A former British ambassador to France has warned there is no "magic solution" to current migrant crisis, and said the issues should be seen in the context of an overall surge in migration into Europe.

Sir John Holmes, who held the post between 2001 and 2007, said: "Although it's a very difficult problem and causes a lot of obstacles and complications, it is a relatively small part of a much bigger problem which is the number of people trying to get illegally into Europe from the Middle East and North Africa."

The Home Office has said it is continuing to work closely with the French government and Eurotunnel "to tackle the immediate pressures and longer-term issues involved in the situation in northern France".