This Tuesday, I left a rather cryptic message on Twitter:
I have in my hand a piece of paper from the Russian Consulate. Now very happy.
That piece of paper was my Russian Business Visa.
It joins a number of other ‘pieces of paper,’ including return tickets on British Midland from Edinburgh to Moscow; a reservation for a central Moscow hotel, a guide to the Moscow metro and specifically how to get to the Olimpiyski Stadium, and full press accreditation for a certain music event…
I’m going to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest!!!
Naturally I’ll be bring coverage from Russia to you all, and providing a brilliant look at Eurovision from a slightly different angle to anything you’ve seen been before. I fly on Saturday May 9th, so I’ll be there for the final stage rehearsals on Sunday, and then the dress rehearsals and live shows that make up the two semi-finals and the Grand Final on Saturday May 16th.
Do be aware that I really am a dedicated Eurovision follower, so if you’re expecting snarky and bitchy comments, you won’t find them here. But you will find the wit you all know from my other event coverage, and I do subscribe to the Wogan rule of “if it’s a duck, call it a duck.”
So what sort of coverage can you expect? Well first up there’ll be a bundle of coverage in a number of places, all of which I’ll link to from here. Most of the in depth written posts will be on The Stage’s website, but I’m also working on the following:
A Beginners Guide To Eurovision
A set of videos to introduce the concept of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), how it works,a and what to watch for over Eurovision Week (9-16th May). These will be ideally suited to introduce your friends to the ESC and how it all works, or if you’re one of my many readers from outside Europe who have no idea what this is all about. These should start running one a day from early next week.
Daily Eurovision News
A video news bulletin from the stadium , running from Monday 9th right through to the morning of the final on Saturday the 16th May. I’ll announce my co-presenter at some point next week. If you are going to be at the Contest, drop me an email, am looking to have as many voices and faces as possible on this news show.
The Alternative Commentary Track
Here’s probably the biggest challenge. The big news, at least in the UK, is that (a) Terry Wogan is no longer doing the commentary and (b) Graham Norton is taking over the role this year. This is going to be the first Eurovision since 1979 that has not been voiced by Wogan, so it’s going to sound really strange to many of us
That change, of course, opens up an opportunity. What if you don’t want to listen to Graham Norton? Or what if you’re watching the live stream from Eurovision.tv that has no commentary, because that’s preferable,or you are in a country (such as the USA) which doesn’t have the show broadcast? What do you do for a commentator then?
That’s where I’m stepping up. I’ll have an audio commentary available to everyone watching Eurovision as an alternative to the mainstream. You too can enjoy the dulcet tones of a Scotsman, in Russia, chairing a
very special episode hacked together online version of Eurovision, all for free.
Unless of course Graham Norton falls down some more stairs, in which case the BBC know where to find me (and yes, I do have an alibi).
In previous years, my Twitter Stream (www.twitter.com/ewanspence) has acted as a running commentary (in text) for many of you, and anyone who was there for last year’s contest will know how much fun that can be. Those new to twitter may have seen my at work during the UK Selection contest, or the Junior Eurovision or Eurovision Dance contests.
I’ll be posting all my Eurovision news through the Twitter stream as well so if you grab the RSS feed of this site (www.ewanspence.com/blog/feed) and follow me on Twitter (@ewanspence) then you won’t miss a thing!
And being the internet, you don’t need to tell anyone else you’re secretly going to enjoy the Song Contest – it’ll be between you and me…