Eurovision 2021: How, when and where to watch
James R | On 22, May 2021
The BBC has unveiled its plans for Eurovision 2021, as the continental song contest returns to our screens following last year’s cancelled competition.
The Netherlands will play host to the competition following the country’s victory in 2019 in Israel with Duncan Laurence who wrote and performed Arcade. This year there will be 39 countries competing in the contest, including two semi-finals, with the grand final taking place at 8pm on Saturday 22nd May.
The semi-finals will be live on BBC Four, presented by Rylan Clark-Neal, Scott Mills and Chelcee Grimes. Read our guide to the 16 best songs from the semi-finals here.
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will be hosted by Chantal Janzen, Jan Smit, Edsilia Rombley and Nikkie de Jager (also known as NikkieTutorials) and broadcast live on BBC One and BBC Radio 2. The qualifying acts from the semi-finals will join hosts Netherlands plus the Big Five countries France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom in the final.
James Newman, who was going to perform for the UK last year, will be representing the country once more with his single Embers. The result of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be determined by a 50/50 vote. Half of the votes come from the televoting in each participating country and the other half of votes will come from a group of five music professionals from each of the 39 countries taking part.
There will be a Eurovision collection on iPlayer to celebrate the contest’s return, including classic Eurovision Song Contest finals and a selection of music programmes including a TOTPs special. BBC Four will also broadcast several Eurovision documentaries, including a profile of one of Eurovision’s most loved winners, ABBA.
Here’s the full rundown of when everything will be playing and where:
Grand Final – 22nd May
Graham Norton will provide the commentary on BBC One for Europe’s biggest party night of the year. This year we will see interval performances from Dutch DJ Afrojack featuring Glennis Grace and Wulf as they will perform Music Binds Us a specially commissioned piece for the Grand Final. Current reigning Eurovison winner from 2019, Duncan Laurence, will be performing his winning song Arcade. Plus we will a multi act performance entitled Rock the Roof, a collaboration featuring six former Eurovision winners – Lenny Kuhr (1969), Teach-In (1975), Sandra Kim (1986), Helena Paparizou (2005), Lordi (2006) and Måns Zelmerlöw (2015)
Available from 8pm on BBC One.
Eurovision 2021: The Road To Rotterdam
A documentary from Radio 1 Newsbeat with exclusive access to James Newman as he prepares to represent the UK with Embers at one of the world’s biggest song competitions in the world. The team follow him for the last few months as he gets ready for the biggest moment of his life… from his music video shoot, to his rehearsals… all the way to his arrival in Rotterdam. The documentary also features many of the other 38 acts to show how they’ve been navigating a global pandemic to get to the Netherlands.
Eurovision Collection – 17th May
Stream a selection of Eurovision Song Contest finals and music programmes including the 1974 Grand Final, broadcast from The Dome in Brighton in which Swedish group ABBA won the day with Waterloo. Also included is the 1998 Grand Final, broadcast from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and hosted by Terry Wogan.
In the first semi-final, the first group of countries will compete for a place in Saturday’s Grand Final. The 16 countries competing are: Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, Australia, North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway, Croatia, Belgium, Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Malta. Read our guide to the 16 best songs from the semi-finals here.
The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will feature 17 different acts taking to the stage in the hope of securing a place in Saturday’s Grand Final. Competing this evening are: San Marino, Estonia, Czech Republic, Greece, Austria, Poland, Moldova, Iceland, Serbia, Georgia, Albania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark Viewers in the United Kingdom are able to vote in this semi-final once all of the nights acts have performed. Read our guide to the 16 best songs from the semi-finals here.
The A-Z of Eurovision
Rylan Clark-Neal narrates a guide to all things Eurovision in this compilation of highlights, as he takes a sideways look at the greatest singing contest on the planet. First broadcast in 2020 and produced by BBC Studios, it will feature all the disasters, the costume changes and memorable musical moments from 65 years of Eurovision.
Eurovision at 60
First shown to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest’s 60th anniversary in 2015, BBC Four joins the celebrations with an appreciation of the joy, fun, scandal and intrigue that has defined the Eurovision Song Contest. This documentary features interviews with Graham Norton, Conchita Wurst, Sir Terry Wogan and a whole host of Eurovision stars, songwriters and programme makers.
ABBA at the BBC
ABBA at the BBC charts the meteoric rise of the band with some of their greatest performances at the BBC. We begin in 1974 with their Top of the Pops appearance; we even get to see the band entertaining holidaymakers in Torbay in a 1975 Seaside Special.