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Norton to succeed Wogan on Eurovision Destroys any UK Hopes

Posted on August 17, 2008
Filed Under Daily Links, Eurovision |


No on the count of “Execs have big plans for the show and want to make it more glitzy, with one eye on X Factor [UK ‘Talent’ Show).” I’ve said this before, we don’t win Eurovision because the UK mainstream media does not take it seriously. Having a talent contest, for amateurs, and then throwing them on the stage in front to tens of thousands of people in the stadium and expect them to blow the superstar singers of other countries away in a live performance?

No on Wogan not making his mind up (sic): “Terry may decide he still wants to do the commentary for the actual contest but if he doesn’t, Graham will do that as well” You can’t have it both ways, with all this hedging. Either 100% in or 100% out. Don’t just idle along on autopilot, because that kills any authentic commentary (listen to this year’s and those from the mid to late 80’s and compare).

No on the count of Graham Norton. He’s a very competent presenter, he’s clearly got a nice deal with the BBC, and his recent work with “I’d Do Anything” certainly drew out the best in the amateur performers, but the word amateur is the key here. Having seen some of the stars of those show perform in a recent Edinburgh Festival production, I can’t see how sending talent show winners into the bear-pit of Moscow for one of their first live gigs will lead to anything more than around 35-40 points for the UK, and nothing higher than maybe 15th.

Other countries have stars queuing up and volunteering to represent their country - System of a Down just announced they would re-form if Armenia wanted them to represent them at ESC2009. The BBC is treating it like a sideshow. If we want to be serious about Eurovision by all means have some sort of UK selection program, but we should be courting established songwriters, lyrists and performers. We should be approaching well known bands and singers that will be able to tap into a fanbase in other countries

How can the UK do well in Eurovision again? I think that’s for another post. For now, it looks like the BBC is going to serve up ‘the same again’ and not change their approach.

And Paddy O’Connell must be quietly furious this gig isn’t his…


2 Responses to “Norton to succeed Wogan on Eurovision Destroys any UK Hopes”

  1. Scott Matthewman on August 18th, 2008 9:00

    And, breeeathe…

    First of all, don’t forget that Digital Spy’s report is but a rehash (with no additional investigation) of a report in The Sun, which itself is incredibly short on facts, but rather large on rumours and unnamed sources. Chinese Whispers always comes into play on these things.

    To be honest, though, I think it’s possible that a Norton-led selection process could work. The key here isn’t who’s presenting it, or even who’s eligible to apply (there’s nothing in recent reports re. either Wogan or Norton to suggest any change in elgibility). It is, as you say, how seriously the prize is taken.

    I’d suggest Britain’s Got Talent as an example. Look past the novelty acts who get through the unseen initial auditions to perform in front of the TV cameras (as with stablemate the X Factor, they’re selected for comedy value rather than on merit). Look instead as to how seriously the prize — a place on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance — is taken. To the country at large, the RVP had become a bit of a joke, but a byproduct of Britain’s Got Talent helped to reverse that.

    A selection process which is fun and entertaining, but which is conducted with due deference to the overall prize, could be onto a winner.

    Although it won’t help get round the problem of Eastern European nations in the final sharing musical tastes which aren’t in step with our own, which is a much greater cause of the mutual voting than any political reasons…

  2. Ewan Spence on August 18th, 2008 9:54


    I am breathing, but this point is the perfect point for the BBC to take Eurovision and do exactly what you describe BGT did to the RVP. Something as big and respected as the Melodifestival (see Wikipedia in Sweden to select the ESC2009 entry is exactly what is needed in terms of respect, artistic merit, presentation and entertainment.

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