Former JLS star JB Gill has said he is hoping to encourage younger people to tune into BBC mainstay Songs Of Praise when he returns to the show.
Gill, who will host the Harvest episode on Sunday alongside Aled Jones, has also said that he thinks there are “lots of misconceptions” around religion, and that the Christian faith should be more accessible.
Asked if he can attract a new, younger audience to watch Songs Of Praise, 30-year-old Gill told the Press Association: “I hope so.
“Lots of people watch Songs Of Praise, especially with it being on a Sunday afternoon. It’s that time that most of the family are in, winding down from the weekend and getting ready for the coming week.
“Obviously I’ve got a younger fan-base from my time in JLS, so hopefully they will be watching!
“Some of them may have young families as I do, and the thought of having the whole family engaging in the show as well as the older generation, is great.”
Gill, who rose to fame in chart-topping boy band JLS when they came second in The X Factor in 2008, told of how important religion is to him.
“My faith is intrinsic to everything that I do; it’s a part of me and encompasses everything I do,” he said.
— BBC Songs of Praise (@BBCSoP) September 21, 2017
He added: “There are lots of misconceptions about religion; people feel like they have to go somewhere and do certain things to experience God, I think it should be more accessible than that.
“The show offers another way that people can engage and connect with the Christian faith. It’s great to be a part of that and to give people who don’t often or actively participate in the Christian religion, or indeed people who can’t make it to church each week, the opportunity to have somewhere they can watch and engage in it.”
Gill made his debut as a presenter on Songs Of Praise in August, and in Sunday’s episode will be seen visiting long-running agricultural event the Royal Welsh Show with Jones to learn about its Christian heritage.
The singer said he would “never say never” to either a JLS reunion or releasing more solo music, but that he is focused on other things right now, including his career in television and working on his farm.
For now, he is also preparing to back his former JLS co-star Aston Merrygold, who is one of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing contestants.
Gill won the Strictly Christmas special in 2012, but has insisted he has not tried to give Merrygold any advice.
“He’s a really hard worker, he has a great partner in Janette (Manrara), and he’ll know he has to put some hard graft in!,” Gill said.
Songs Of Praise – Harvest airs on Sunday at 4pm on BBC One.