When is Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light on? Replacement song contest air date, time and acts

Calling all Eurovision fans: you can still get your annual fix, but it'll be slightly different...

KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22, 2020:
he Eurovision Song Contest logo is seen on a screen during the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) national selection show in Kiev.
Ukrainian band Go_A with song Solovey will represent Ukraine at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Netherlands. The 65th anniversary Eurovision song contest will be held in Rotterdam (Netherlands) from May 12 to May 16, 2020. Ukraine, which missed the competition last year, intends to return to participation in 2020.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Pavlo Gonchar / Echoes Wire/ Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Pavlo Gonchar /  Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Our hearts broke when we heard Eurovision 2020 had been cancelled.

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For the first time since 1956, it was revealed that the show would not go ahead this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But all is not lost, as the the EBU and its Dutch Members NPO, NOS and AVROTROS will be putting together a new show entitled, Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, to air in place of the Grand Final.

So, when is it on? And what is it about?

Here’s everything you need to know.

When is Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light on?

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will air in place of the Grand Final on Saturday 16 May at 8pm.

The live show is expected to last approximately 2 hours and will also be broadcast from the official Eurovision YouTube channel and BBC iPlayer.

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will follow Eurovision: Come Together, in which the UK audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite Eurovision entry of all time.

A BBC spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “BBC One will be showing Eurovision: Come Together hosted by Graham Norton on 16th May, on what would have been the Eurovision final. The show will feature classic Eurovision performances, a look at what would have been in 2020 and entertaining interviews, including this year’s UK entry James Newman. We are also pleased to confirm that Eurovision fans will also be able to watch Eurovision Shine a Light on BBC iPlayer.”

What is Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light about?

The new show will honour all 41 songs, in a non-competitive format, as well as providing plenty of surprises for fans and viewers at home.

It also intends to bring together 2020’s artists, from their locations across Europe. Fans will come together from around the world in a performance of a past Eurovision hit, Johnny Logan’s What’s Another Year, a song with unifying lyrics appropriate for the current situation we’re in.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Contest on behalf of the EBU, said: “Sadly there will be no Eurovision Song Contest this year. Instead, we intend to unite Europe on 16 May with a unique prime-time TV programme.

“We are encouraging all broadcasters who were due to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and EBU Members in other countries, to air this show in the spirit of unity and togetherness.”

Eurovision
Romania’s Eurovision 2020 entry Roxen

Sietse Bakker, Executive Producer Event of what would have been the 65th Eurovision Song Contest said: “We want to make a show that puts a spotlight not only on the 41 artists that were due to appear in Rotterdam but also inspire those at home and connect people from across Europe and beyond in these difficult times.”

Bakker added: “Of course, we will also honour those who are affected by the coronavirus crisis and those who work so hard to fight it. Let’s make this an unforgettable moment in Eurovision history!”

The show will also feature special performances from former winners including much-loved Swedish champion Måns Zelmerlöw singing his 2015 winning song Heroes, Israel’s charismatic 2018 champion Netta performing an acoustic version of her new song and a cross-border duet between Michael Schulte (Germany’s act in 2018) and The Common Linnets (Netherlands, 2014) singing Nicole’s 1982 winning song Ein Bisschen Frieden.

Who are the hosts?

The show will be hosted by Dutch Eurovision presenters Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley (Eurovision 1998 and 2007) and Jan Smit.

Are there any other Eurovision replacement shows?

Eurovision 2020
The UK’s Eurovision 2020 entry James Newman

Eurovision fans are in luck, because the BBC will also be screening a replacement show called Eurovision: Come Together.

The Eurovision special – which will be hosted by Veteran Eurovision commentator Graham Norton – will air on BBC One on Saturday 16th May.

In the absence of the actual contest, Eurovision: Come Together will feature a compilation of memorable past performances and a chance to vote on your favourite Eurovision songs of all time. While the classic clips are yet to be confirmed we will almost certainly see ABBA’s legendary 1974 rendition of Waterloo, as well as Bucks Fizz’s iconic outfit-ripping dance routine.

Graham can’t wait to present the show. “I have to admit that there’s something nice about looking back at all the greatest Eurovision moments with my slippers and a glass of vino to hand! I can’t say I’ll miss the little hut where I normally commentate from, but I’ll certainly miss sharing gossip with my fellow commentators and getting to witness all the performances live.”

There will also be a look at what was planned for the 2020 competition, including a performance from UK hopeful James Newman. Graham says, “I’m really looking forward to chatting with James about how he has felt about it all, getting an idea of what he had planned for his performance on the night and of course what is up next for him!”

Clips from other acts will also likely be shown, including Iceland’s viral entry Think About Things which is front-runner in our poll

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Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light will air on Saturday, 16th May on BBC One. Eurovision Come Together also airs on Saturday 16th May at 6.25pm with classic Eurovision acts performing. While you wait for Eurovision 2021 check out the full list of Eurovision winners, the Eurovision 2020 acts. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV Guide.