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When is the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest on TV?

Everything we know about the 2020 competition

Published: Wednesday, 18th March 2020 at 4:48 pm

Calling all fans of unmissable TV and questionable European pop: it’s Eurovision Song Contest time again!


Each year, several European countries compete in the music competition, which first kicked off in 1965.

For the 2020 contest, the UK and 40 other countries qualified for 65th edition of the music competition event, which was expected to attract upwards of 180 million viewers around the globe.

But with the coronavirus pandemic dominating headlines, will the show go on?

Production for many shows in the UK and US have already been halted as a result of the outbreak.

Here's everything you need to know about Eurovision…

When is the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest taking place?

The Eurovision Song Contest first and second semi-finals were due to take place on the 12th and 14th May, with the finale following on the 16th May, however, due to the ongoing effect of the coronavirus outbreak, the show has now been cancelled.

A statement from the EBU read: “It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam. Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

The show was expected to air on BBC One with commentator Graham Norton guiding UK viewers through the show.

Meanwhile, Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills would have served as commentators when it aired on BBC Four.

You can read more about the show being cancelled here.

Eurovision statement
Eurovision's statement on the 2020 contest

Will the show be postponed to a later date this year?

Unfortunately the show will not go on this year, as the Eurovision Song Contest have found it too difficult to make it work during this time, with travel restrictions being put in place worldwide.

The organisers will however be having talks about the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021.

The statement explained: "The EBU, NPO, NOS, AVROTROS and the City of Rotterdam will continue a conversation regarding the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021. We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks."

Where was the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest taking place?

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 was meant to be held in the Rotterdam Ahoy arena, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, a city south of Amsterdam.

Why wasn't the contest being held in the capital?

The city couldn’t guarantee its main arena, the brilliantly-named Ziggo Dome, would be free come the final night.

The theme for this year's contest is 'Open Up', alongside that circle of colours. We don't really get it either

Eurovision doesn’t have to take place in a country’s capital. For instance, in 1998, the last time the UK hosted Eurovision, the final was held in Birmingham.

This will be the fifth time Holland has hosted the competition, the last time coming back in 1980 when 1978 and 1979 winners Israel declined to hold the event for a second consecutive year.

Previous Dutch host cities have included The Hague, Amsterdam and Hilversum.

Who was the UK Eurovision 2020 entry?

You know John Newman? The singer, songwriter, musician and record producer behind hits such as Love Me Again and Feel the Love? Well, it's not him. But it was his older brother, James Newman, who was set to represent the UK this year.

The singer was due to perform 'My Last Breath', a ballad imagining a deep-sea diver giving the remains of his oxygen to his lover.

Through his songwriting, Newman has previously worked with Little Mix, Ed Sheeran, Olly Murs and the Backstreet boys.

He also wrote Dying to Try, the 2017 Eurovision entry for Ireland, performed by The X Factor's Brendan Murray. However, the song failed to qualify for the contest's grand final.

Who were the acts performing at Eurovision 2020?

41 countries were set to compete in Eurovision 2020 – including the UK.

Most countries decided on their performers using national selection competitions. Click here for more information on how different nation's choose their entrants.

The "Big Five" – the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – were all expected to send acts and all havd guaranteed spots in the final, thanks to the large financial contributions they make to the European Broadcasting Union. As the host country, The Netherlands was also given a free pass to the final.

Who won the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest?

Duncan Laurence, a singer from The Netherlands, won the competition in 2019 with his song Arcade. It was the first time the country had finished top of the table in 44 years.

Since winning Eurovision, Laurence released a second single Love Don't Hate It. However, this only reached number nine in his home country's charts. He's also been touring around the EU (no, he didn't perform in the UK).

Who performed for the UK at Eurovision last year? And how well did they do?

The UK pinned their hopes on All Together Now winner Michael Rice and single Bigger Than Us.

To put it bluntly, things didn't quite go to plan. Rice finished in last place (26th), with just 11 points, only three of which coming from the public.

Since Eurovision, Rice release single Somebody, but this failed to break into the charts.


If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.


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