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Sir Terry Wogan is stepping down as commentator on the Eurovision Song Contest after three decades. Fellow Irishman Graham Norton will take over for the 2009 contest, which will be hosted in Moscow. Veteran presenter Wogan, 70, cast doubt on whether he would be involved in covering the event again following this year’s contest. He said it was “no longer a music contest” and that prospects for western European participants were “poor”. Wogan said he would be “sad to leave it all behind”. He said: “I’ve had 35 wonderful years commentating on the Eurovision for radio and television. “From my first, in a small musichall in Dublin, to my last, in the huge arena in Belgrade, it has been nothing but laughter and fun. “The silly songs, the spectacle, the grandiose foolishness of it all.
POSTED: 05/11/08 – Source: BBC News Online
Andrew Lloyd Webber is to help pick the UK’s next Eurovision entry, in a overhaul of the BBC’s selection show. Lord Lloyd Webber will compose the UK’s entry and embark on a search for the singer or group to perform the song. Graham Norton will host BBC TV show Your Country Needs You to find new talent for the 2009 contest, after a string of poor results for the UK. Lord Lloyd Webber said: “Win, lose or draw, I am looking forward to every minute of it.” The BBC show will follow a similar format to the successful How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and I’d Do Anything, with Norton and Lord Lloyd Webber at the helm. Six finalists chosen by Lord Lloyd Webber and music industry professionals from entries sent to the BBC website will take part in the TV show. Viewers will have the final say on who gets to perform Lord Lloyd Webber’s song. In recent years the UK has performed poorly at Eurovision. Last year, former X-Factor finalist Andy Abrahams came joint last, securing points from just Ireland and San Marino. Russia’s Dima Bilan won the contest, sparking more accusations of “friendly” voting between neighbouring countries. Lord Lloyd Webber, who has had number one hits with songs like Any Dream Will Do and Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, added: “In my life I have never shied away from the impossible and this looks like the biggest mission impossible of all time. “But with the might of the BBC and the British public behind me (not to mention Graham Norton) who knows what will happen?” Lord Lloyd Webber came aboard the UK’s 2009 Eurovision bid following last month’s announcement about changes in the contest’s voting system. Next year, the points will be decided by a mix of jury votes and public votes. The contest will be held in Moscow in May.
POSTED: 20/10/08 – Source: BBC News Online
Juries are to make a comeback in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest final after criticism about the fairness of public televoting at this year’s event. A panel from each country will vote alongside the viewing public.
This year Belgrade played host to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Ireland’s entry failed to get through the semi finals earlier in the week and Dustin the Turkey was sent home but Portugal returned to the contest final for the first time since 2003 after qualifying from the second semi-final. This year’s winners were Russia with a song called ‘Believe’ performed by Dima Bilan. It won with 272 points followed by Ukraine with 230. Greece came third followed by Armenia and Norway. The UK came in joint last place with Germany and Poland. Andy Abraham’s ‘Even If’ scored just 14 points after another night of political voting and countries voting for their closest neighbours. Terry Wogan, who has presented the BBC’s Eurovision coverage since the early seventies, has dropped the biggest hint yet that he may not return to Eurovision next year in Moscow.
Portugal are returning to the Eurovision Song Contest final for the first time since 2003 after qualifying from the second semi-final in Belgrade. Sweden – who topped the BBC’s Eurovision vote – also went through, along with fellow Scandinavian entrants Denmark and Iceland. Ukraine, Turkey, Georgia, Croatia, Latvia and Albania also qualified.
POSTED: 23/05/08 – Source: BBC Online
The Irish Republic will not appear in the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest final after its entrant, Dustin the Turkey, failed to get through the semi-finals. The glove puppet failed to make an impression in the public vote despite his country’s history in the contest, which it has won a record seven times.
POSTED: 21/05/08 – Source: BBC Online
Sweden’s Eurovision entry has emerged as the favourite to win this year’s contest in a Europe-wide BBC vote. Charlotte Perrelli, who won the event in 1999, was the convincing victor with her song Hero, ahead of Ukraine, Switzerland and host nation Serbia. The United Kingdom’s Andy Abraham polled only enough votes to finish in 33rd place in a field of 43 songs. One Eurovision fan from each country chose their Top 10 songs ahead of tonight’s first semi-final in Belgrade. Their choices were awarded Eurovision-style points, with one point for 10th place, up to a maximum of 12 points for their favourite songs. The points were combined to create the final standings, from 1st to 43rd place. Montenegro came last with just two points. The Swedish star finished 62 points clear of Ukraine’s Ani Lorak, and was awarded maximum points by several fans from all parts of Europe. Perrelli – who won Eurovision in 1999 as Charlotte Nilsson – would secure Sweden’s fifth win if successful, and become the first woman to win two contests. Ireland’s Johnny Logan is the only singer to have won twice in the competition’s 53-year history, in 1980 and 1987.
POSTED: 20/05/08 – Source: BBC Online
On Saturday 1st March, the BBC hosted a show called Eurovision: Your Decision, giving the public the chance to pick the UK’s Eurovision song for 2008. Six contestants took part and the judges got to pick which acts they send through to the public vote. Rob McVeigh and Loveshy didn’t make it through and Andy Abraham only just made it through after being given Terry Wogan’s ‘Wildcard’. The public vote narrowed it down to the final two, pushing The Revelations and Simona Armstrong out into the cold. The final round of the public vote between Andy Abraham and Michelle Gayle resulted in Andy as the winner. Michelle Gayle was the judges first choice but Andy Abraham will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest on 24th May with his self written song called ‘Even If’.
UK Eurovision Entry – Andy Abraham – Even If