Dana relives her musical past on Songs of Praise

Dana performing on Songs of Praise. (2207CD02)
Dana performing on Songs of Praise. (2207CD02)

This Sunday’s BBC Songs of Praise programme will feature Derry singer Dana Rosemary Scallon.

Best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970, Dana has carved out a continuing career singing Christian music - releasing some thirty albums to date.

Filmed last month, the production team brought Dana home to Derry where she went to her old school, Thornhill College, and the new Peace Bridge, just days after it opened.

And Dana last night told the ‘Journal’ she was delighted to get to showcase her home city as well as publicise the charity Project Children .

“The programme looked at my roots and my background and the city which means most to you, which for me of course was Derry,” she said.

“The programme brought us right through Creggan, the Bogside and on to the new peace bridge, which was very important to me because I wanted to showcase the city in a contemporary light. And I was charmed by the new bridge and meeting the many people on it. I met so many locals and tourists on the bridge who all said hello to me.

“I am so proud of the city and the people of Derry so I loved getting to highlight it in this programme.”

Producer Jonathan Moyo explains, “Dana is one of four popular Christian singers that have taken part in a new series of Songs of Praise that will be shown in BBC1 over the next year.. Dana’s programme is the first to be aired and will be shown this Sunday 24th July at 5pm.”

The show was filmed in three parts, the first being an interview focussing on her career led by Sally Magnusson in front of an invited audience.

The second was the trip home to Derry where Dana re-visited the old Thornhill College site before going across to the new building and joining in on a music class with a selection of students. She also spoke to Margaret Bradley on the new Peace Bridge about the ‘Project Children’ scheme which has sent 22,000 young Catholic and Protestant kids to America for summer visits.

The final segment is the church service where Dana sings two songs, ‘I Am The Light’ and ‘Christ Be Beside Me’, as well as leading the congregation in a series of hymns, including the renowned ‘Be Thou My Vision’.

You can see the Songs of Praise featuring Dana this Sunday, July 24 on BBC1 at 5pm.

Dana is also due to take part in the television series Celebrity Bainisteoir. More details to follow.