Terry Wogan saved Eurovision

I’ve always wondered what it must be like to watch Eurovision in another country, but now I know the answer: it must be boring as hell.

Today’s front page of The Mirror is running with a story on Eurovision producer Christer Björkman claiming Terry Wogan ‘ruined Eurovision’. Björkman said:

“He raised a generation of viewers believing this was a fun kitsch show that had no relevance whatsoever. It totally spoiled Eurovision. Because of what Terry Wogan did, the UK don’t put in their best efforts.”

What a total crock of shit. Wogan kept Eurovision alive. As political voting took over, he kept us entertained when the Balkan countries dutifully exchanged their 12 points. How can a commentator not point out the sheer hilarity of the situation? And let’s be honest, it is a fun kitsch show. As the great man himself said,

It’s supposed to be bad. And the worse it is, the more fun it is.

However, contrary to what Björkman suggests, you could tell that Wogan fully appreciated the entire spectacle. Is it really a serious song competition? Of course not. It’s a night of outrageous clichés, off-key belting and pseudo pleasantries. We celebrate the weird and the wonderful. It’s a contest where past winners can include Conchita Wurst, Dana International and Lordi.

In essence, Eurovision just lends itself to a whole range of drinking games. Surely we can’t be the only country that enjoys Eurovision in such a way. Surely.

As for suggesting we don’t put in our best efforts, well, this knobhead must have forgotten our spectacular 2007 entry Flying the Flag.

This year, for the first time ever, my sister and I are travelling to attend the Eurovision live shows. We’ll be at the semi-finals (and you bet we’ll be proudly waving our Wogan flags), but when it comes to the final there’s only one place we want to be: at home, watching it on BBC, with Graham Norton continuing the traditional dry, honest commentary that we all loved Wogan for. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

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