Why would we let a little thing like lockdown stop us from celebrating Eurovision? Of course the song contest itself can’t take place in Rotterdam this year as originally planned, and in fact this is the first time the event has been cancelled since it began in 1956.
But the BBC is still offering fans a night of Eurovision-inspired entertainment on Saturday 16th May, even if we won’t be competing with our European neighbours.
Commentator extraordinaire Graham Norton has promised the shows will offer the same chaotic sense of fun as the contest itself. ‘Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times,’ he SAID.
‘This year people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours.”
Meanwhile, Rylan Clark Neal, who has become part of the BBC Eurovision family in recent years, is ready to party. “It’s so sad that Eurovision 2020 had to be cancelled, but it’s understandable and it doesn’t mean we can’t still escape to the Eurovision bubble,’ he said.
“We’re so excited to be bringing Eurovision content to Saturday 16th May to keep up the tradition of many years of this amazing event. I’m looking forward to leaving the current situation behind for a night of pure Eurovision gold!”
Here are the shows guaranteed to get you dancing round the living room on Eurovision night:
Eurovision: Come Together, 6:30pm, BBC One
Graham Norton will kick off Eurovision night with a special nostalgia show, asking viewers to vote on their favourite Eurovision performance of all time. The shortlist, described by the BBC as “eclectic” will be compiled by experts and superfans. Graham will also interview James Newman, who should have been representing the UK this year with his song My Last Breath.
Eurovision: Shine a Light, 8pm, BBC One
Following Graham’s throwback to Eurovisions past, BBC1 will round up all 41 songs that should have been in the contest this year. They won’t be in competition with each other, but they’ll all have their moment in the spotlight and Graham will be back in the commentary box. The show will be hosted by the Dutch presenters originally booked for the gig, and will be broadcast across Europe. Brace yourselves for a virtual fan singalong too.
The A-Z of Eurovision, 10pm, BBC Two
If that’s still not enough for you, Rylan will take over at 10pm. He will be narrating this round up of unforgettable Eurovision moments from the past 65 years – from ABBA to Mans Zelmerlow.
TOTP2 Goes Eurovision!, 11pm, BBC Two
Steve Wright hosts a Eurovision themed episode of the classic show featuring the likes of Cliff Richard, Lulu, Bucks Fizz, Sandie Shaw and Brotherhood of Man. Plus 2007 entrants Scooch, obviously.
The BBC’s Eurovision coverage will air on Saturday 16th May. To see what else is on, why not check out our TV Guide.