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MORE than 50 residents turned out to be part of BBC’s The One Show’s filming in Olney, Milton Keynes.

The filming took place at St Peter and St Paul’s Church where Gospel Touch Choir sang former Olney Reverend John Newton’s hymn Amazing Grace.

The One Show’s presenter Gyles Brandreth was there interviewing ex-prisoner and former cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, about the life of John Newton – on which Mr Aitken wrote a book.

The Rev Newton wrote the famous hymn in The Old Vicarage in Church Street, Olney, and as part of The One Show’s current series celebrating Green and Pleasant Land, it will look into the history of the piece and the life of The Rev Newton.

Charles Dada, assistant music director at Gospel Touch Choir said: “It is a very spiritual song and is very uplifting. It can change your day no matter what you are going through.

“We have added some harmonies and we are doing it with a soul and gospel approach.

“I think even if you don’t go to church you still know this song – every generation will know it.

“The most powerful lines that are still meaningful today are that you can be lost but then found, blind but then you can see – emphasising that no matter what, your life can be turned around.”

During the filming Mr Brandreth kept the audience entertained with his comic humour and getting to know a little more about why they were here.

He admitted: “About a month ago I knew nothing about John Newton, I thought maybe he was a relation to Olivia Newton John or maybe even Isac Newton. However John Aitken educated me after he wrote a book on Rev Newton called Disgrace to Amazing Grace.”

Speaking about his book Mr Aitken said: “I have been to Olney quite often while I was writing the book as I did some research.

“It is lovely English small town.

“John Newton was a good spiritual teacher and a good politician he persuaded all religions, methodists and descendants, to come and hear him preach and he was so successful, the church had to be extended to accompany his visitors.”

The episode is expected to be aired in May this year.


Article written by JESSICA DUNCAN for MKWEB

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