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The Vote: Eurovision Song Contest

So bad it's good or just so plain bad it needs to go?

Published on May 8th 2009.


The Vote: Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest. It's as synonymous with Terry Wogan as it is with extreme noise terror and, as such, it can now be termed officially crap.

For the gold-buttoned, cricket blazered doyen of dozens of Eurovisions has finally laid his barbs on the table by describing the annual jamboree as rubbish, and a "triumph of appalling taste".

Terry, 70, who stepped down from hosting the BBC coverage of the event this year after growing tired of countries bloc voting, has told the people responsible for it, the European Broadcasting Union's Eurovision TV summit: "Everybody knows it's rubbish. Everybody in the UK knows it's rubbish.”

He even added: "I think I have brought the British public along with me and we now share an interest in it.“

But is that a good or a bad thing?

Many Brits love Eurovision (still gets the the ratings), perhaps hankering for the days when a winner could generate a smash hit record and it was the nearest you could get to a foreign land.

Many more viewers claim to indulge in it in a so-bad-it's good ironic way. Are they right in the head to perpetuate the stereotype created by Monty Python/Father Ted skits, years ago, or is it time to admit that life is simply too short for this drivel and nonsense that comes out of the public purse?

Terry had been invited to give the keynote speech in Switzerland, as "the most famous commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest".

There he urged European nations not to take the competition so seriously and

said Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has written this year's UK entry, was "extremely brave" to get involved and was “risking his reputation".

But Eurovision TV director Bjorn Erichsen – who presented Wogan with a Swiss cuckoo clock – took the presenter to task about his description of the Danish hosts of the 2001 show, who he said looked like "Doctor Death and the Tooth Fairy" – comments that caused outrage in the country. "You showed us the friendly side [today], but you can also be harsh," Erichsen said.

But Wogan contended that real friends tell each other the truth. "hey don't indulge in idle flattery." and it is certainly true, that many organisations who suspect they might be rubbish are incapable of taking a gentle ribbing.

Erichsen has previously criticised Wogan for not showing the contest enough respect, saying before last year's show: "Terry Wogan is a problem because he makes it look ridiculous. I know he is very popular and maybe that is the reason why a lot of people watch."

He might well be right in that. Indeed, is he wrong, and will you be getting the schnapps out and singing along with Jade whoeveritis on May 16 purely in the spirit of European unity?

Or, to get out of it, would you consider violently tumbling down a flight of stairs, breaking your ribs and spending the whole night in the A&E - like the new host, Graham Norton, did only last week?

Go ahead, vote on the homepage.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Dana InternationalMay 7th 2009.

The Eurovision song for this year is ****. Another waste of time. Andrew Lloyd Webber is like some self appointed saviour of prime time TV and I'm not sure that such self interest should be allowed by Ofcom. If anyone went on the Roger Phillips show promoting their business interests like this all the time, they'd be booted off by the radio police.

AnonymousMay 7th 2009.

Terry Wogan has changed, judging from that picture.

Dan DingadongMay 7th 2009.

Wogan was always rubbish, with his outmoded xenophobia and his sexist and ageist comments about women participants. The trouble is that he's been there so long as one of the BBC's unsackable sacred cows I can't remember who did the commentary before him. Perhaps there wasn't one - after all, it is unnecessary to have a commentary on a television event like this. The Radio 2 commentary was always considered better anyway.

AnonymousMay 7th 2009.

I think Russell Brand should do it.

Guildo hat euch LiebMay 7th 2009.

Paddy O'Connell's drily humorous presentation of the 2007 semi-finals was so much better than anything Wogan could ever achieve. He was so good in fact that the BBC decided to handicap him with a giddy, shrilly-jabbering Fearne-Cotton-soundalike cockney fishwife in 2008.

Paul OscarMay 7th 2009.

I've not heard the British entry for this year (they usually deservedly fail to get many votes) but the engagement of Andrew Lloyd Webber shows that at long last the BBC-Eurovision production end has finally woken up to the fact that the E.S.C. isn't about chart pop music and grubby self-regarding pop groups, it is about show tunes and upbeat entertainment! I watch it because because the self-styled "kewl 'n' fanky" powers-that-be have prevented the British public from watching and enjoying this stuff for years because they 'fink' it is "un-cool"!

Sefton ParkerMay 7th 2009.

When is it? There's no date on this article!

EditorialMay 7th 2009.

Oopsie. May 16. Saturday, seeing as you ask.

EditorialMay 7th 2009.

Oh , and by the way, it does say when it's on in the copy already. Stop alarming us into kneejerk rants, Sefton Parker, we're taking our "oopsie" back.

JoanMay 7th 2009.

My year would be incomplete without Eurovision - it's one of the pure feel-good nights of the year! Who cares if we don't win - it's about getting together and having a laugh a minute with your mates! Get yourselves put to a party, see it screened live at FACT or one of the big gay bars in town, put a fiver on Romania to win and have a ball! Worth it just for the costumes...oh, and bring back Katie Boyle!

DigMay 7th 2009.

You don't get out much do you Joan?

Teddy JohnsonMay 7th 2009.

Hear hear Joan! Katie Boyle was a brilliant presenter with superb diction and bilingual to boot, whereas many of the current crop of gorblimey BBC 'presenters' have difficulty just speaking English.

Dr. WalpurgisMay 7th 2009.

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest in it's entirety feels like trudging up an endless staicase inside a cacophonous, tinsel-****ting, Tower Of Babel.

Professor RoodmasMay 7th 2009.

I think that you need to sit down, doctor...

Len IngradcowboyMay 7th 2009.

I watched the first semi-final last evening and I even voted, but WHY OH WHY was drily witty commentator Paddy O'Connell saddled with jabbering gorblimey baggage Sarah Cawood? The BBC seems to have a supply of these inane cockney baggages who must always have the last word, even when they've nothing to say. Cawood gibbered her worthless gorblimey nonsense over TATY and The Red Army Choir which would otherwise have been the highlight of the evening!

Pearl CarrMay 7th 2009.

Will the Eurovision Party at the FACT centre have proper, "real-time" coverage of the Contest or just the BBC's edited crap to highlight Graham Norton showing off?

St. JadeMay 7th 2009.

The self-centred Wogan crossed official union picket lines during a strike at the BBC. That tells you all you need to know about his attitude to other people.

smigsyMay 7th 2009.

Where are the new musicians? Britain is a multicultural ethnic mix and yet we still see this so called contest dominated by caucasian performers without any consideration how this affects other ethnic citizens.The organisers should recognise it is a serious affront to the sensibilities and beliefs of a growing minority to present the image of Britain as white, anglosaxon and protestant.A disgraceful exercise in post colonial oppression.

Super GypsyMay 7th 2009.

Er 'Smigsy' - Britain was represented by Jade Ewen who is both young and of mixed race. You really ought to watch it before you open your mouth and put your foot in it. "Post-colonial oppression" my arse!

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