What Graham, Scott & Ken think of Eurovision 2015?
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – The 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is coming closer and closer and BBC Eurovision team is ready to kick off one more exciting venture to host city Vienna and enjoy along with all of us the amazing experience we call THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST. But it’s interesting to see, thanks to BBC Press Office, how the key people in the Eurovision Team for the UK are thinking about the contest this year.
You have been commentating on the contest for the BBC since 2009. Do you have a Eurovision routine?
Once I get to the venue, I pretty much spend my whole time in the commentary box like a battery hen for a few days. It is important to see as many rehearsals as you can. There is no script on Eurovision, so you need to start learning the timings of how long things take, what the postcards will be, there is a lot to take in and I like to totally immerse myself. I have all of the songs on CD so between now and the contest that is all I will listen to in the car!
This year is the 60th anniversary and Australia have been invited to take part for one year only. What are your thoughts on that? Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the competition is a very good idea and I think the BBC did a marvelous job last month when we hosted the Greatest Hits Concert in London. I think for Australia this is a great way of marking the 60th anniversary but I am not entirely sure what anybody else will get out of it! I have nothing against Australia but no-one has convincingly explained to me why they are in it!
Eurovision is well known for having very passionate fans. Are you a huge Eurovision fan yourself?
I really like Eurovision and always have. I am not a mad super-fan but I would say if you are going to devote your life to a thing, it is not a bad thing to be devoted to! It’s not the same as painting action figures in your attic, as Eurovision is a great social thing, you get to talk to people and at the end of the day it’s about music. It sounds corny but this year the theme is Building Bridges but that is exactly what Eurovision does. Last year when Conchita won, it was a quietly political moment.
It’s the 60th anniversary this year – do you think that will make it extra special?
I think it does make it extra special; the 60th anniversary celebratory concert was amazing. It was nice to see some of the older winners and Eurovision favourites. I’ve only been involved with Eurovision for five years but I’ve been watching it for years. Brotherhood of Man, who won Eurovision just after I was born, were at the concert – it was brilliant!
Do you watch all of the songs in advance?
Yes, I get sent them once they’re announced along with a huge information pack about each act – where they are from, who wrote the song and loads of random facts which really helps during the commentary.
Are there any acts you are particularly looking forward to seeing?
Conchita. I saw her at the Eurovision 60th anniversary and she was brilliant. This year not only will she be performing her new single but she is also hosting the green room area so will be with all the acts while they wait for their scores.
What is the atmosphere like in the host city?
It’s such a great atmosphere. There’s very, very little jealousy or nastiness between the countries. It’s just we’re all in this together trying to do the best we can and everyone seems to enjoy themselves. All the musicians get on well and it’s lovely for us to meet broadcasters from other countries. You see the same faces over the years and get to know one another. I know the Austrian commentator so I’ll be meeting up with him.
Where have your favourite host cities been?
We’ve had some lovely times in Ireland, some great moments in Ireland and we’ve been to really interesting places that you wouldn’t otherwise go to, like Estonia and Latvia. They would not be on my tourist list probably so it’s been good to go and see these places. They’re charming, they’re nice places. But we keep hoping Malta will do well because I’d quite like to do Eurovision from a beach one day.
What do you think of the UK entry this year?
It’s a quirky song, I like it. I don’t know if it’s going to do well but I never know whether our song is going to do well. I’ve never called it right. The only time I’ve ever won money on Eurovision is on sweepstakes, it’s a lucky draw. It is so unpredictable, there are so many different forces at work. I can see it getting some place because it’s fun, it’s different. I admire Electro Velvet – they’re a good duo and the song writer, David Mindel, is a great fellow. I wish it well.