WARNING: SOME OF THE THINGS MY DAD WAS FORCED TO DO BY THE SONGS OF PRAISE PRODUCERS MAY DISTURB YOU
Earlier this year my Dad went to go see Songs Of Praise being filmed.
Him and my Mum are clearly thrill seekers, always have been.
Here’s a classic example, they’re always going on these ‘mystery tour’ holidays. They get on a bus with a load of strangers and are taken to an unknown destination. The big reveal is when you get off the bus and as you can imagine, the excitement is a high the likes of which you and I could only ever dream of.
Ladies and Gentlemen you’ve been on a bus for 9 hours. Welcome, to Great Yarmouth.
It was never going to be Magaluf was it?
How was the mystery tour Dad? It was Magaluf son. Your Mum took LSD.
I think the real mystery of all these mystery holidays is how 95 year old Hilda manages to make it back to the coach by 5pm and isn’t lost for eternity wondering around tearooms in The Cotswolds.
When my Dad told me about his Songs Of Praise experience, he was outraged.
The first word he said to me when I asked him how it went? ‘Nightmare.’
I felt it was my duty to share with the world some of the things that wound him up the most. So here’s the truth about Songs of Praise, an expose from the perspective of an impatient Irish pensioner.
This stuff is not for the faint hearted.
1. He was made to wear a poppy in April.
‘The first thing they did was put a poppy on me’ he said with a angry look on his face. (Confused me slightly at first.) ‘What’s wrong with that? I asked him.
‘Remembrance Sunday isn’t until November. Which means that it’s not going to be on TV for at least 6 months. I’ve told everyone I’m going to be on TV. It’s unbelievable.’
I think he thought he was going to be on TV the following Sunday.
2. He had to sit behind a tall man.
‘They sat us behind the tallest man you’ve ever seen in your life.’
When my Dad tells a story about someone who is tall, the person is always the tallest man you’ve ever seen in your life. They are always 7ft tall. ‘He was huge’ he told me. ‘He was 7ft tall. A giant of a man’
(You have to make a tall person at least 7ft tall in a story though right? Who’s ever told a tall person story and given them a height of 6′ 1″?)
3. He had to sing a song more than once.
‘If someone coughed, they’d stop everything. Stop the song and we’d have to start again.’
My Dad is not a very patient man. He was never going to respond well to singing the All Things Bright And Beautiful chorus for the sixth time because an old dear with a tickly throat forgot her soothers.
What was my Dad’s solution to this? How did he beat the system and not have to repeatedly sing the Hymns?
He decided to mime.
‘I stopped singing after a while, I was just miming.’
4. He had to hold a Hymn sheet.
‘I wasn’t holding it high enough’.
As we are slowly starting to learn, being in the Songs of Praise congregation is a bit like torture. ‘It was a nightmare, I had to hold my Hymn sheet up and if they saw you not holding it up you’d get bollocked.’
Only my Dad could get bollocked at Songs Of Praise.
Also, I don’t see how Hymn sheet placement really matters if you’re sat behind a 7ft giant and miming the whole time but what do I know?
‘My arms were killing by the end of it.’
5. He didn’t get paid.
“They should have paid me”.
For what Dad? Miming? You’re not Britney Spears.
So there we have it. The truth about Songs Of Praise.
Hopefully I can send him to The Antiques Roadshow next.