Former singing star swaps broadcast role for priesthood

By staff writers
September 22, 2010

A broadcaster who is a former singer and songwriter has left a flagship radio presenting role to become a priest in the Church of England.

In what is being described as "the next step in a remarkable career spanning five decades", Cindy Kent's departure from Premier Christian Radio today (22 September 2010) means she will now be part of the multi-faith chaplaincy team at a local hospice as well as undertaking parish work.

Cindy began her career as a singer with well-known group the Settlers in the early 1960s, often with Cliff Richard. She also had a hit record, 'The Lightning Tree', the theme tune for the TV series Follyfoot.

A change of career to broadcasting saw her presenting features on BBC Radio 4's Sunday Programme, before going on to BBC Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday and then Radio 1's Talkabout show.

After helping to pioneer religious broadcasting at LBC and Capital Radio in London, Cindy Kent moved north to present a late-night programme at Radio Hallam, a commercial station in Sheffield.

She also presented programmes on Tyne Tees Television in Tyneside, writing 25 tunes, with lyrics by David Winter, the former head of BBC radio religious broadcasting, for the Tees TV series 'Life With Johnny'.

In 1995 after Premier Radio obtained a broadcasting license for London, Ms Kent was the first presenter the station signed up. She has fronted many different programmes, including currently Premier Tonight with Cindy Kent from 11 pm to 1 am.

One memorable experience for her was being at the station on 9/11. Normal programming was abandoned. She said: "As I was on the air, I got an e-mail from a lady in the US who had been listening to us and was grateful that I'd got some of our guests to pray as she said she didn't feel able to do so."

Premier's CEO Peter Kerridge paid tribute: "Cindy is a real pioneer," he declared. "She has been so instrumental in shaping religious broadcasting here in the UK. She will be greatly missed but this new chapter in her life promises to be just as exciting as all that's gone before."

Cindy Kent was ordained as a priest in 2008 and since then has been a non-stipendiary Assistant Curate at St John the Apostle church in Whetstone, north London, combining this with her Premier presenting work.

"I am sad to be leaving Premier after all these years," she said. "It's been great to have been part of a 'trailblazing' organisation, but I feel this is right."

Ms Kent added: "In God's economy, nothing is wasted and I feel that all that I'm doing now is a fulfilment of all I've done in the past."

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