Veteran broadcaster Larry Gogan has revealed he would love to go to Eurovision this year. But the DJ, who has attended the contest for decades, said RTE cuts mean he will miss the 58th Eurovision in Malmo next month. “I’d love to be going out, but there is absolutely no money in RTE for sending somebody to do a live radio commentary. I’ll miss it alright,” Larry Gogan said.
Having attended every contest as far back as 1978, the much-loved DJ was one of the longest-serving Eurovision commentators. However he said he hadn’t minded missing out at Eurovision last year in Baku, Azerbaijan because he felt it was “too far”.
But he said he feels that, after last year, when Jedward finished a disappointing 19th, Ireland has a better chance with singer Ryan Dolan’s entry Only Love. “Ryan has a good chance. I’d love to see him win, but I’ll be watching it on TV this year,” said Gogan.
An RTE spokesperson was unavailable last night, but with the station attempting cost reductions in recent years, the cost of sending the RTE delegation to Eurovision each year has come under close scrutiny.
Last year, it was revealed that RTE spent €254,000 on sending Jedward and an Irish delegation to Azerbaijan. The Lucan twins, John and Edward Grimes, were joined by a support team of 17 which stayed in a luxury hotel in Azerbaijan. Costs had included €14,477 spent on food and drink for the two-week stay. The bill for 19 residents of Baku’s Hyatt Regency came to €61,739.
Marty Whelan will again provide RTE’s Eurovision TV commentary this year.