Europe's Eastern Bloc Party; Our Eurovision Hopeful Jade Heads toMoscowas Plays Host

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM KEAL

EUROVISION SONG CONTEST

SATURDAY, BBC1, 8pm

It's all change in Moscow for the 54th Eurovision.

New host Graham Norton will ensure Terry Wogan's dulcet tones are absent from our TV screens for the first time in 38 years, and jury voting is back after an 11-year absence.

El Tel should be chuffed, since it was the slavish block voting of the Eastern European countries which so brassed him off in the first place.

And although the new system - combining a phone vote with juries - might still be fraught, we can't do worse than we did last year's when Andy Abraham's slick entry Even If undeservedly finished joint bottom.

Norton seems the perfect choice to maintain Wogan's tradition of irreverent banter, though Wogan's ability to always see the funny side deserted him at the last.

Even the BBC's own Eurovision website has risked an in-joke at the expense of foreign fans who take it all so seriously, showing interviews of contestants recorded at a preview party held, they say, "in London's glamorous King's Cross area." This must be the first time in history that the words King's Cross and glamorous have ever appeared side by side in a sentence.

This year, of course, we have fresh-faced UK lovely Jade Ewen, 21, singing It's My Time - a song written as a patriotic effort by Andrew Lloyd Webber with US lyricist Diane Warren.

Jade is a pretty girl with a huge voice, and ALW's tune could have walked straight out of one his smash-hit West End musicals. …