BEE GEES star Robin Gibb had to pull out of a special Songs of Praise performance being filmed in Colchester.

The legenday singer was meant to be taking part in the BBC show, filmed at St Botolph’s Church last Friday.

However, the singer, who has racked up record sales of more than £100million with brothers Maurice and Barry, was forced to miss it after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains.

He had been due to appear alongside the Soldiers, performing their rendition of the Bee Gees classic, Got to Get a Message to You.

But the group donned their uniforms and pushed on with their performance.

The programme, an Armed Forces-themed show, will air on Remembrance Sunday, presented by Aled Jones.

Producers recognised Colchester’s garrison links during their search for a place to film the special. It was the first time the show had visited the town in its 50-year history.

The Soldiers’ song, an official single for the Poppy Appeal, will be released on October 23, with all proceeds going to forces charities.

The band are made up of serving British Army soldiers – Sergeant Major Gary Chilton, Lance Corporal Ryan Idzi and Sergeant Richie Maddocks, who served at Colchester’s Hyderabad Barracks in his early military career.

Speaking during the filming, Sgt Maddocks said: “I was based here for six months and had a great time. We were honoured to find out we are singing the official Poppy Appeal song. We asked Robin to collaborate, knowing he has done a lot for the forces in the past, and he agreed.”

Sgt Maj Chilton said: “He suggested the song and it just seemed like the perfect message. It is very important we remember the work our forces are doing.”

St Botolph’s Church was decked with poppies for the occasion ahead of the November 13 airing. Paratroopers and Royal British Legion members were invited to attend the event.

Aled Jones, Welsh singer and presenter, said: “I’ve only been in Colchester for a day but it has been absolutely lovely.”

A 200-strong choir, featuring singers from local churches, performed alongside an orchestra led by St Botolph’s organist, and music director, Colin Nicholson.