Last night, I attended a really interesting debate at the Swedish Embassy hosted by the Ambassador of Sweden, Ms Nicola Clase, headed ‘Rebranding Eurovision – Should Britain Sing Along’.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I signed up to attend, one of the perks of being a member of Editorial Intelligence but it was a great fun night out.
It was interesting to know that over 60 million watch the Eurovision Song Contest, however not many admit to watching it – so do you or don’t you? Well, all will be revealed on Sunday when the BBC announce the viewing figures, as it’s this Saturday.
For me, the Eurovision song contest brings back memories of school as it was one of the highlights of the year. Why you may ask? Well as a boarder, we got to stay up later however it was not till my last year, that I managed to see the whole programme. After that I would not necessarily stay in to watch it, however it must be said that Saturday night viewing has much to be desired and can be rather dull so, if I was not working it would be on in the background.
The panel for last night was made up of Fraser Nelson who is the Editor of the Spectator and he seemed to be very clued up on the whole history of Eurovision and a fan. Last night he was in fact celebrating his 40th birthday so we all sang for him led by Katrina. He the moderator for the evening and was very good.
On the panel was Katrina, of Katrina and the Waves. She won the Eurovision for England in 1997 with ‘Love Shine a Light’ in Dublin, a song she had written and put in the bottom draw for such an event.
The general feeling from the panel was that as a nation we needed to take more pride in the song/artist we put forward as England had created some amazing pop artists. We needed to get past the fact that as the BBC puts in money (+/- £200,000) we should automatically be included. We should also not look at it as ‘Euro trash’.
Then we had Svante Stockselius former head of Song Contests at EBU and from Sweden and he was fascinating, as in Sweden they really make an event of Eurovision. They build it up with a taking a road show around the country and getting the public on their side. If we can do that with The Voice and X Factor even though they are IVT shows surely the BBC entertainment department could get excited again?
And lastly, we had Kevin Bishop Ex-BBC, who was relatively quiet but agreed we need to re-brand it for England and start to take pride and gave a comparison to sport events.
So, will Bonnie Tyler get ‘nil points’ with let’s hope not?
Last year we came 2nd from the bottom so fingers crossed we can better that.
So, will you be watching BBC 1 on Saturday night, 18th May at 8pm for Eurovision in Malmo?