Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight share the stage for a night of Gospel Christmas music in Cardiff

Sir Tom Jones and Beverley Knight will join forces to celebrate Christmas in style this year as they host and perform a feast of gospel music in a special programme for BBC Two and BBC One Wales, Gospel Christmas.

Recording in Cardiff Bay at the newly refurbished Exchange Hotel (also known as the Coal Exchange) on Tuesday 28 November, they will be joined by BRIT and MOBO award winning singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, soul singer Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong (better known by his stage name, Kwabs), and the London Community Gospel Choir and the House Gospel Choir. Londoner Jessie Ware has just released her third Top Ten album, Glasshouse, while Kwabs achieved international success with his 2015 debut album Love & War and the single Walk.

As he prepares to head home to Wales, Sir Tom Jones said: “I’m looking forward to celebrating this wonderful season with my co-host Beverly Knight and sharing the evening with Jessie Ware, Kwabs and the uplifting and joyous choirs. It will be an evening of beautiful singing and playing in the heart of Cardiff at the historic venue, and I hope to share this joy with you all at home on Christmas Day.”

Soul singer and musical theatre star, Beverley Knight, says: “I’m chuffed to be asked to return to be a part of Gospel Christmas for a second time - this time coming to you from the great city of Cardiff! Celebrating Christmas in song once again with the wonderful choirs will be a joy - and working with the amazing Sir Tom Jones in his home country of Wales will be a huge honour. I can’t wait!”

It’s a show that sees Sir Tom pay homage to a genre that is very close to his heart whilst Beverley makes a welcome return to her roots after her success at co-hosting last year’s inaugural show. Sir Tom will accompany the audience back home to the South Wales valleys and to the church where the sounds that led Tom on his musical journey began.

Combining carols and hymns including Away in a Manger and Silent Night; traditional gospel songs such as Jesus is Here to Stay and Children Go Where I Send Thee; alongside great contemporary spiritual songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Prince and Steve Winwood, Gospel Christmas is a celebration of the very meaning of this most special of days with songs that celebrate hope, belief and a new beginning.

Gospel Christmas was commissioned by Nick Andrews, Head of Commissioning BBC Wales TV and iPlayer, Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, Music TV and Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two. The hour-long show is produced by BBC Studios and will be broadcast first on BBC One Wales shortly before Christmas and on BBC Two on Christmas Day itself. Further details will be released soon.

Award winning singer Sir Tom Jones hails from the land known for its fine voice, Wales, and it was at home as a young lad where he first heard the sounds of Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the like - beautiful sounds that inspired his love of gospel music which has always been at the heart and soul of Sir Tom Jones.

Theology graduate Beverley Knight has hosted four series of Gospel Nights on Radio 2, which explores the origins and impact of gospel music. Raised in Wolverhampton in a Pentecostal family of Jamaican descent, gospel music became a staple part of her childhood. She joined the gospel choir of her local church at just four years of age and became its musical director before she left in her late teens. Her musical education continued at home where her family would sing together around the piano and listen to music from their favourite gospel and soul artists like Sam Cooke.

November 17, 2017 7:24pm by BBC TWO  

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