The Radio Times logo

Rylan Clark Neal on future of Eurovision amid coronavirus fears: "I can’t see it happening the way we’re used to"

The contest is still penned to go ahead at the moment

Rylan (Getty)
Published: Tuesday, 17th March 2020 at 4:47 pm

All eyes are on the Eurovision Song Contest right now which may fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.


Events across the globe have been cancelled, with BAFTA TV recently confirming they will be postponing their prestigious awards ceremony until later in the year, among others.

One of the trickiest events to pull off in the current climate would no doubt be Eurovision, which sees 41 countries come together in one place to battle it out for the coveted microphone trophy. recently caught up with Rylan Clark Neal - who previously acted as the UK's spokesperson in the semi-finals as well as a panellist on Eurovision: You Decide - to see what he thinks should happen in the coming months.

When asked if he thinks the contest will go ahead, Clark Neal pondered: "Obviously this isn’t me speaking officially on behalf of the BBC because I’m not in that position, but Eurovision is one of those things, and after working on Eurovision for a couple of years, Eurovision is its own bubble in its own world I am sure Eurovision will do everything they can in order to make the show go on this year.

"I’ve been thinking about it myself, I’m sure there’s some options. I think 41 countries competing from one country is probably not the best decision at the moment, but there could be a case where – again, this is not official, this is not what I’ve been told, this is just from my own head – there could be a way to do it where everyone performs in their own country, like you would with the voting for argument sake."

This would make sense, considering travel bans could be extended to May, but some countries still have the ability to move around domestically. Eurovision does stream its results shows every year, with different representatives of the country popping up on screen to deliver the all-important "douze points".

Clark Neal continued: "I can’t see it happening the way that we’re used to it happening, but I could be completely wrong. It’s in May and we don’t know what’s going to happen in May. In my head, I’m preparing for bad news because that’s all we’re hearing at the moment, which would be the right outcome if that’s what we’re being told to do. Will something take place and will it be something like let’s cross over to the UK for their live performance? Maybe, that’s an option. If social distancing isn’t a problem. For all we know, Eurovision 2020 might be the year it never happened and it will just pick up again next year.

"If Eurovision has to cancel, that’s when you know s**t got real."


The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 is currently expected to air on BBC One on 16th May


Sponsored content