Eurovision: Commentator jokes BBC is ‘nervous’ about hosting
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The Royal Family should welcome and support the Eurovision next year, when the UK will host the glitzy song contest, according to a commentator. The UK has won the song contest five times over the decades, but no member of the Firm has ever made an appearance on the programme.
However, royal expert Lydia Starbuck is hoping British royals will mark a first and head to the popular event next year, when the UK is stepping up to host the Eurovision as Ukraine, whose Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 contest with the song Stefania, can’t hold the event within its borders due to the ongoing war against Russia, started by Moscow in late February.
Over the decades, Ms Starbuck noted, Eurovision has evolved from being a kitsch festival to a beloved contest and important cultural event, gathering fans and viewers from around the world.
Testimony to this evolution has been the attendance to the event of a number of European royals over the past few years when the contest was being held in countries recognising a sovereign as head of state.
Ms Starbuck noted how in 2014, when Eurovision was hosted by Denmark, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark attended the final with their children.
Last year, Dutch Queen Maxima attended the rehearsals for the 2021 Eurovision Contest held in Rotterdam.
As the popularity of the Eurovision song contest means the UK may experience a “massive financial boost” and be the host of one of its “biggest cultural events” of the decade, Ms Starbuck suggested she hopes members of the Firm will follow in the example set by their European counterparts.
She wrote on Royal Central: “[The Eurovision] needs and deserves very visible royal support.”
Ms Starbuck also believes that the royal attendance at an event like the Eurovision in 2023 will be beneficial not just to the UK or to the contest itself.
She wrote: “I’m old school Eurovision, here for the glitz and the kitsch, so I’d be more than happy for Camilla and Kate to lead the charge in the biggest tiaras they can find.
“We all know that won’t happen but let’s hope we see the Royal Family embrace this major moment for the country.”
She added: “Royal support for this unique event will boost them as much as the contest itself.”
Having the Royal Family in attendance at the next edition of the Eurovision may not be too difficult, as at least a few of its members are believed to be fans of the event.
Sam Ryder, who placed second at this year’s contest met Kate and Princess Beatrice after performing at the Party at the Palace concert, held on June 3 as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Opening up on his chat with the Duchess, Mr Ryder told People magazine: “She is so kind and said that the Royal Family had all been supporting me for a while and all throughout Eurovision.”
Princess Beatrice, Mr Ryder added, “was just so lovely and encouraging and supporting, and just generous with her kindness”.
Stunned by the royal support, the Eurovision runner-up said: “What I gather is a lot of the members of the Royal Family had seen Eurovision and were supporting my song from home, which means a lot.”
After his outstanding performance at the Eurovision, Mr Ryder earned a staggering 466 points, which granted the UK one of its best results at the contest in recent years.
A few weeks later, Mr Ryder sang during the concert held outside of Buckingham Palace in front of the royals, more than 22,000 people and the millions more who watched the event on TV.
News a British city would host the next Eurovision song contest was shared yesterday, after a few weeks of talks between the BBC, set to air the show, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which was assessing whether Ukraine would be able to host stage the event.
Oleh Psiuk, the lead singer of the Kalush Orchestra, expressed his gratitude to the UK for holding the event “in support of our country”.
After expressing his sadness at Ukraine missing the chance to host the contest due to the war still raging, he voiced his hope the next Eurovision would “celebrate our beautiful, unique culture”.
He added: “We, in turn, will make all efforts to help Ukraine win next year as well, so that Eurovision 2024 can take place in a peaceful country.”
Given the reasons why the UK has been picked to host the show, it is likely the competition will reflect and celebrate Ukrainian culture rather than simply focus on the nation hosting it as it traditionally happens.
The bidding process to decide which city will host the event is to begin this week.
London, Sheffield and Manchester have already confirmed they will put in an official bid, while other cities such as Leeds, Liverpool and Brighton have been tipped to throw their hats into the ring.
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