As the BBC One show returns for a second episode, we catch up with one of the inspirational participants to find out more about what the experience means to him
Following an emotional first episode, BBC One’s tear-jerking show This is My Song returns for a second week with a brand new line-up ready to harness the power of music to do something momentous.
From anxiety and bereavement to personal hurdles and milestones, the show invites ordinary people to pair up with some of the music industry’s most talented producers to create a personal track that tells their story and expresses the healing power of song.
Episode two, airing 20 January at 8pm BBC One, follows 54-year-old Ange as she records a song to send to her mother who moved to Ghana 11 years ago to work for a charity helping mothers and children, and 25-year-old Bethany who arrives at the studio with some home-recordings of her dad, who passed away three years ago. But the first story of the episode comes from 23-year-old Charles.
Charles was born with cystic fibrosis, a condition that can cause irreversible lung damage and made keeping up with other children a challenge. But at the age of five Charles discovered that he could channel his energy into creativity when he joined a musical theatre group, and uncovered a passion for music that has remained ever since.
Unfortunately, everything came to an abrupt stop when, at the age of 19, Charles was told that he needed a life-saving double lung transplant which left him too ill to sing for three-and-a-half years.
“There were days that I could sing and days when I couldn't, but as I got worse the days where I couldn't became more common, and it got very frustrating for me,” Charles tells Happiful. “Singing was something I always have loved to do, and the days where I couldn't sing were the ones I felt most down. It really started to affect my mood.”
Now, only 12 weeks after his operation, Charles wants to sing for the first time with his new lungs and plans to mark this pivotal occasion with a special recording of Ella Henderson’s ‘Yours’ – a song he learnt to play on the guitar while he was recovering in hospital.
“I started to listen and fell in love with the song during a hospital admission in 2014/15,” says Charles. “I was performing in a show and my lung collapsed on stage, I went to hospital and was admitted on Christmas Eve.
“It was during this admission that I fell in love with the song. So it felt like the perfect choice to mark the end of my journey. It marks the beginning, and is there to mark the end.”
With the help of expert vocal coach CeCe Sammy, and music producer and artist Sister Bliss, from Faithless, the episode sees Charles perform the track in front of his mum and girlfriend.
“Music has the ability to make you remember memories, and for me, it will remind me of all the things I've been through, everything I've achieved, and the entire journey as a whole.
"Every time I look at the vinyl, listen to the song or just think about the lyrics, I'll remember just how far I've come. When I woke up from my operation I couldn't talk. 12 weeks later, I'm singing my lungs out in a top studio in London!”
This is My Song continues on Thursday 20 December at 8pm on BBC One.