THE BBC has sparked outrage for using licence fee cash to film its flagship religious show Songs of Praise from a notorious migrant camp in Calais.
Producers have confirmed they are currently filming an episode of the programme at the makeshift Jungle camp in northern France – the temporary home for an estimated 5,000 migrants looking to enter Britain.
Camera crews have already spent a day around at a makeshift 500-strong Ethiopian Orthodox Church in the sprawling camp, with Songs of Praise host Aled Jones expected to arrive over the weekend, according to The Sun.
Reverend Giles Fraser, who stepped down as canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in support of the left-wing Occupy London protests, is also involved in the episode.
But production was halted when a parishioner refused to be filmed during a service at the ramshacked, tarpaulin and corrugated iron church.
Another parishioner, Ezekiel Lala, spoke of his desperate need to “get to England” and revealed he had been caught trying to illegally enter Britain thirty times.
The 28-year-old told the paper: “I pray in church for good health so I can get to England.
“I know God will help me. I try every night to get to England.”
Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell blasted the BBC, saying: “This is an insensitive thing to do.
“We are facing a grave crisis. The BBC should be careful not to start looking as if they are making political points out of this.”
Licence fee payers have taken to Twitter to express their disgust at the BBC’s decision.
One user wrote: “I really object to having my TV licence fee being spent on Songs of Praise going to Calais for illegal immigrants.”Another added: “Songs of Praise to be broadcast from Calais migrant camp. Good use of licence fee – NON”
A BBC spokesman confirmed shooting was “going ahead as planned”, adding that the episode would not be a live special of Songs of Praise but a standard programme following the normal format.
She would not confirm whether or not Jones would attend the Jungle camp.
A broadcast date is set to be finalised, but the episode will not be shown this Sunday.
A statement from the BBC read: “Songs of Praise is a magazine style programme.
“Each week it brings hymns from churches around the UK and short topical magazine features of interests to Christians from a range of places”.
It is estimated 5,000 migrants, from war-torn Africa and the Middle East, are currently massed near Calais.
French police are fighting nightly battles to keep them from storming fences near the Eurotunnel terminal, or clinging to UK-bound lorries.
Last night it emerged a Sudanese man was arrested by police after walking through the entire 30-mile length of the Channel Tunnel.
Ministers are now discussing the “nuclear option” of closing the tunnel to all trains overnight.
Taxpayers money being used by the BBC to support the siege!