'It's real escapism'

TV Times|May 16, 2020

'It's real escapism'
Graham Norton on how the spirit of Eurovision can still unite millions in lockdown
Steven Perkins

Graham Norton is rarely seen without a big grin on his face. But when it was confirmed earlier this year that the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest had been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, even TV’s most chipper chap was left feeling a little down.

Fortunately there’s a contingency plan in place, and Graham – who has been our commentator at the event since 2009 – will still be at the heart of Eurovision on BBC1 this Saturday.

At 6.25pm, he’ll host Eurovision: Come Together, in which a panel of superfans will select their most memorable performances before viewers vote for their favourites.

Then, at 8pm, Graham will provide his usual wise and witty commentary for Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, a showcase of the 41 songs that would have been competing this year.

It might not be Eurovision as we’re used to it, but here Graham, 57, tells TV Times why he hopes this special evening still has the power to unite Europe and beyond in lockdown…

How would you describe Eurovision: Come Together? And will it be live?

Well, we’re going to make it as live as possible so it will still feel like event TV, hopefully. It’s a big celebration of Eurovision, where the UK can for the first time ever vote for its favourite song of all time – that’s not been done before, so it’s pretty exciting. I really hope people get involved and vote for their favourites like they would have on the night.

Who’s on the panel of fans behind the song selection?

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May 16, 2020