John Gibson: Sweet soul music is well worth praise

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Sing out loud. Sing out proud. See all these God-fearing folk who religiously turn up on our screens for Songs of Praise every Sabbath. I have to envy them.

According to researchers, presumably good Christians themselves, these TV performers have found that listening to religious music “increases life satisfaction, self-esteem and a sense of control over their lives”.

Appropriately, “religion has been linked with desirable mental health outcomes among older adults. The study shows that listening to religious music may promote psychological wellbeing in a later life”.

This stems from a place called Waco, Texas, and now I know why these good folk in Songs of Praise look and sound so happy, bordering on the holier-than-thou, Sunday week after week. Aled Jones gets them going. The prospect of death, hand-picked hymns and BBC cameras down their throats, they must be convinced, keeps the Grim Reapers away from their door.

Lucky in love?

Spinster for life? Stranger things have happened but for Kylie Minogue, surely not.

The Australian had tongues wagging at the Cannes Film Festival when she mouthed: “Hopefully I’ll be around doing something 25 years from now, not just sitting in a room with 17 cats thinking about the past. Mind you, it could happen, perish the thought.’’

She adds: “I could still be treading the boards but I don’t really know.’’

Kylie, who still loves to party, has been letting her hair down on the Riviera. She’s just turned 46. She has split with Andres Velencoso, a Spanish model. Past suitors have included Jason Donovan and the late Michael Hutchence.

The same singer will be very much around, with bairns, long before those 25 years have elapsed.