BBC unveils plans for Eurovision 2020 celebration
Staff Reporter | On 01, May 2020
The Beeb has unveiled its plans for Eurovision 2020, even though the song contest itself isn’t taking place.
With no competition this year, fans have been taking to the web to relive past editions every Saturday night under the hashtag #EurovisionAgain. Now that May is here, the BBC is getting involved with a wave of Eurovision content across the TV and online.
From a night of special programmes celebrating this year’s contest on BBC One to revisiting classic moments on BBC Two, the Beeb will be bringing together familiar Eurovision faces including Graham Norton, Ken Bruce, Rylan Clark-Neal and more.
Norton says: “Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times. This year people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours.”
Here’s the line-up:
Eurovision: Behind-the-scenes – 11th May (BBC iPlayer)
Filming for this exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary began back in February – before it was revealed that the 2020 Eurovision song contest in Rotterdam was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat follows James Newman as he prepares to be unveiled as the UK’s Eurovision representative, filming him in rehearsals, and backstage at his first public performance of his Eurovision entry, accompanied by his brother, artist John Newman and their mum.
Following the cancellation of Eurovision, James shares what this means for him and he speaks to some of this year’s other contestants in other countries about their experiences and future plans. The documentary features commentary from artists who have worked with James, including Olly Murs, Mollie King and Piers from Rudimental.
Eurovision at 60 – 15th May (BBC Four)
First shown to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest’s 60th anniversary in 2015, BBC Four joins the celebrations with an appreciation of the joy, madness, scandal and intrigue that has defined the Eurovision Song Contest.
It’s a story of pioneering songs, singers and programme makers; complex and extraordinary technology, laborious voting and a bit of naughtiness. Above all, it can be argued that Eurovision is a symbol of tolerance. As Graham Norton says of Conchita Wurst’s 2014 win: “The people had spoken…and they were nicer and more tolerant people than their governments let us think.”
Featuring interviews with Graham Norton, Conchita Wurst, Sir Terry Wogan and a whole host of Eurovision stars, songwriters and programme makers.
Dana – The Original Derry Girl – 15th May (BBC Four)
Fifty years ago, an 18-year-old schoolgirl left the Bogside and headed off to Amsterdam to represent Ireland in the 15th Eurovision Song Contest. What happened that night was to change her life forever.
Dana – The Original Derry Girl on BBC One Northern Ireland, is a look back at that young schoolgirl’s incredible life story, retracing her steps to the stage of the RAI theatre, where against the odds she became Ireland’s first Eurovision winner.
Eurovision: Come Together – 16th May (BBC One)
Graham Norton will be on hand to kick off a night of Eurovision fun on BBC One on Saturday 16th May. In this one-off special from BBC Studios, Graham will give UK viewers the opportunity to take part in a live vote to crown their favourite Eurovision performance from an eclectic short list compiled by experts and celebrity super fans, including Radio 2’s Ken Bruce, Rylan Clark-Neal and Scott Mills, Mel Giedroyc and Radio 1’s Adele Roberts and former UK Eurovision acts SuRie and Nicki French. Graham will also have a chat with James Newman, the act who was due to fly the UK flag in The Netherlands in 2020.
From Abba to Måns Zelmerlöw, the songs viewers can vote for are (in alphabetical order):
Dancing Lasha Tumbai – Verka Serduchka (Ukraine) – 2007
Diva – Dana International (Israel) – 1998
Euphoria – Loreen (Sweden) – 2012
Fairytale – Alexander Rybak (Norway) – 2009
Fuego – Eleni Foureira (Cyprus) – 2018
Heroes – Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden) – 2015
Love Shine A Light – Katrina & The Waves (UK) – 1997
Making Your Mind Up – Bucks Fizz (UK) – 1981
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu – Domenico Modugno (Italy) – 1958
Ooh…Aah…Just A Little Bit – Gina G (UK) – 1996
Poupée de cire, poupée de son – France Gall (Luxembourg) – 1965
Rhythm Inside – Loïc Nottet (Belgium) – 2015
Rise Like A Phoenix – Conchita Wurst (Austria) – 2014
Satellite – Lena (Germany) – 2010
Save Your Kisses for Me – Brotherhood of Man (UK) – 1976
Soldi – Mahmood (Italy) – 2019
Sound of Silence – Dami Im (Australia) – 2016
Toy – Netta (Israel) – 2018
Waterloo – Abba (Sweden) – 1974
Viewers can cast their votes on the night by visiting bbc.co.uk/eurovision. Voting will open once all performances have been aired on BBC One and voting closes as announced in the show on Saturday 16 May 2020.
Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – 16th May (BBC One)
Following Eurovision: Come Together, BBC One will be broadcasting Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, which will honour all 41 songs that would have competed in the 2020 contest but in a non-competitive format, as well as providing plenty of surprises for fans and viewers at home.
Just like the contest itself, the live show will be simultaneously broadcast across Europe and beyond and will be hosted by the original Dutch presenters for Eurovision Song Contest 2020 Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit from The Netherlands.
There will also be a virtual sing-a-long where fans from across the world will dress up and form a huge Eurovision choir performing Johnny Logan’s winning song for Ireland in 1980, ‘What’s Another Year’.
Graham Norton will provide live commentary for BBC One viewers.
The A-Z of Eurovision – 16th May (BBC Two)
Rylan Clark-Neal narrates a guide to all things Eurovision in this brand new compilation of highlights from BBC Studios as he takes a sideways look at the greatest singing contest on the planet.
Moving through the alphabet, Rylan will be taking us from A, which is of course for Abba & Azerbaijan but also animals – featuring the Italian gorilla man and Azerbaijan’s artist dancing with a horse’s head through Z is for Zelmerlöw, Måns Zelmerlöw to be precise. The only Eurovision performer to have won the contest, hosted the contest and taken part in an interval act.
The A-Z of Eurovision will feature all the disasters, the costume changes and memorable musical moments from 65 years of Eurovision.
TOTP2 Goes Eurovision! – 16th May (BBC Two)
First shown ahead of the 2007 Contest, Steve Wright introduces a special Eurovision-themed edition of the show, featuring archive songs by stars of the famous competition.
Artists include Cliff Richard, Lulu, Bucks Fizz, Sandie Shaw, Brotherhood of Man, Johnny Logan and Abba, plus 2007’s UK entrants, Scooch.