ENTERTAINMENT
08/01/2021 10:54 GMT

Graham Norton Confirms Fate Of This Year's Eurovision Song Contest

The 2020 event was cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Graham Norton has insisted Eurovision will “definitely” be going ahead this year. 

The presenter – who has provided the UK’s Eurovision commentary for the BBC since 2009 – is confident the event will take place on 22 May in Rotterdam as planned, despite Europe being in the grips of another wave of coronavirus.

The 2020 contestant was previously cancelled because of the pandemic, but Eurovision bosses have put a number of plans in place to ensure the it is able to take place this year.

BBC
The UK's Eurovision commentator Graham Norton

Speaking to radio station SiriusXM, Graham said: “There’s definitely going to be a Eurovision this year, the competition element is going to happen.

“I think they’re ready for any eventuality. If some countries can’t travel, they can Zoom in a performance. I doubt we’ll be in a stadium full of 20,000 people.”

There are four contingency plans the European Broadcasting Union has put together.

These are: the contest going ahead as normal; the contest going ahead with a socially-distanced audience and performers; a scenario where artists can perform via video-link into the arena if there are travel restrictions in their country; and a final where all performers sing from their home country with their performances brought together at the arena, much like what happened with Junior Eurovision in November.

Serg Glovny/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock
The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam in 2021

When last year’s contest was postponed, the EBU put on Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light, which looked back at the history of the competition. 

Graham admitted he was left in tears by the programme, saying: “It was kind of reflecting on the history of ­Eurovision and on what we were all going through and it made me bawl like a baby.

“I don’t know why I found it so moving – I think people were just laughing at me because I’m an old man crying.“

Graham also hosted one-off BBC show Eurovision: Come Together, which chose the most popular song in the 64-year history of the event.

ABBA’s hit Waterloo ended up taking the crown after triumphing in 1974.