After months of speculation SVT announced that Petra Mede will be the host of Eurovision Song Contest 2013. A surprise for many of the fans in the Eurovision-world as well as for the media people attending the press conference in Stockholm today. The overall impression is positive and Petra Mede has the qualifications and experiences SVT Core Team has been looking for.

I had a chat with the Show Producer Christer Björkman and Edward af Sillén, who will write the script together with Daniel Rehn and Petra Mede. Christer Björkman tells that Petra Mede was discussed as a potential host in a very early stage:
– “Immediately after Loreen’s victory we decided to go for one host and Petra’s name popped up. We discussed a lot of alternatives but somehow we always came back to Petra. She has the combination of qualifications and experiences we were looking for. In the end of the summer we asked her and she said yes.”
For Petra it was an easy decision to say yes.
– “My policy in life, after 42 years, is that it’s more fun to say ‘yes’ than to say ‘no’.”

Edward af Sillén is very happy for the decision as Petra was the number one on his wish list.
– What are Petra’s qualities, according to you?
– “It’s her international appeal, her comic timing, her elegance and she is a normal, grown-up woman who has a great deal of life experiences. I would say that Petra is today’s Lill Lindfors.”

Lill Lindfors, the Swedish host 1985, is one of the role models for Petra Mede.
– “When it comes to host characters in Eurovision I admire strong women as Lill, but also Åse Kleveland, the Norwegian host 1986 and Anke Engelke from ESC in Düsseldorf 2011.”
I have to say that Petra is a strong woman herself. She gave birth to a little girl six weeks ago and today she is standing in front of us in a beautiful designed dress by Swedish designer Lars Wallin.

The preparations starts in March and Petra will spend quite a lot of time in Malmö. She is familiar with the arena since Melodifestivalen 2009. The venue is kind of intimate and it will help her to focus on the task rather than the TV-audience of more than 100 million people. When it comes to languages she is speaking French and English fluently. Despite that, she has been taking English lessons since last autumn to improve even more. But the most important thing is to put a personal touch to the shows and she believes it will be easier to achieve this as a single host.
– “It’s a very joyful mission I have. Eurovision is connecting people and we have to remember the reason why the contest was founded.”