Friday, 12 May 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Britain’s Eurovision ballad is in it to win it

Written by Ben Felsenburg

It was 20 years ago today... yes, you have to go back to 1997 for British pop’s last Eurovision triumph, when Katrina and the Waves racked up ‘deux cent vingt-sept points’ toBen-Felsenburg-colour-176 claim the prize for musical top dog with the upbeat Love Shine a Light. Now in Eurovision Song Contest 2017 (Saturday, BBC1, 8pm) the hopes of the nation fall onto the shoulders of Lucie Jones with the aptly titled power ballad Never Give Up on You.

Where once our foreign chums couldn’t get enough of Britpop, the glorious victories of Bucks Fizz, Brotherhood of Man and Sandie Shaw are fast fading from memory. Patriotic allegiance aside, we’ve come a long way since a few nonsense words sugared with a happy beat (my particular favourite: Sweden’s Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley, 1984) were enough to top the boards of the voting nations. Intricate political niceties, particularly among the nations of Eastern Europe, have made the contest an increasingly unpredictable affair, and as we settle down for an evening’s entertainment live from Kiev it will fall to the indefatigable Graham Norton to navigate these choppy international waters with the light-footed diplomacy of a Talleyrand or Metternich.

But after all the worthy dull dirges of recent years, oh, for another concert of Europe in which the likes of La, La, La (Spain’s 1968 winner), Boom Bang-a-Bang (thank you to Lulu in 1969) or ding-a-dong (the 1975 Dutch dazzler) would loom large on the scoreboard.


OJ: Made in America, Part 1 (Sunday, BBC4, 9pm)
A stunning documentary series and deserved Oscar-winner tells the full, mesmerising story of a fallen idol.

IVANKA TRUMP: America’s Real First Lady? (Monday, Channel 4, 9pm)
How the president’s daughter is proving to be far more than daddy’s girl on the international stage.

THREE GIRLS (Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm)
Maxine Peake stars in a compelling if disturbing dramatisation of the rochdale abuse scandal.

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