Page last updated at 07:11 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 08:11 UK

Talking Shop: Carrie Grant

Carrie Grant
Carrie Grant has worked as a vocal coach on TV talent shows
Talent judge and vocal coach Carrie Grant has been picked to announce the UK's votes at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The 42-year-old was a member of the singing trio Sweet Dreams, who entered the 1983 competition with the song I'm Never Giving Up.

The track reached number 21 in the UK singles chart and was sixth place in the contest.

Carrie discusses her new role and big night nerves - and how she thinks the UK's hopeful Andy Abraham will perform in the Serbian capital Belgrade

How are you feeling about doing the honour of delivering the UK's points out on the night?

I'm really nervous and excited. All I've got to do is say, 'hello Belgrade, the results of the British public are...' and then read out three scores.

It could not be simpler. And yet, there's a part of you that thinks it could be the one time I cock up my words.

What if I say the wrong country and ruin the whole competition? Or give Italy 12 points when I meant to say Spain or something?


Carrie Grant performs with Sweet Dreams in the 1983 contest

How are you going to engage with the audience? Are you going to try to be funny?

You're hardly allowed to say anything. I'm the first one to present votes so maybe they'll give me a bit more time.

I won't try to be funny because Terry Wogan will say something way more funnier that I could. I'm not a comedian, I'm just going to be friendly.

I just think it's a total privilege. Who could have thought when I entered Eurovision I would be reading the results 25 years later?

I remember sitting there at the age of 17 and thinking 'oh please give us some points'.

Why do you think you were asked?

I suppose because I'm a judge on TV and I have history with Eurovision. It's one of those things that will always come back to haunt you, in a nice way, but you'll never be allowed to forget it.

How important is Eurovision to you?

It's always been since my childhood. Eurovision was so popular when I was growing up. It started to go off the boil the year that I went in for it. It was huge before then. There was a backlash for the first time the year we did it.

Andy Abraham
I think Andy has one of the best voices out there, he's a really excellent singer but I didn't think his song was very Eurovision
Carrie Grant

It's not important in terms of world peace, but it is important because it's part of our lives.

It reunites Europe. I love the fact that all these countries compete against one another in such a bizarre way.

What are your memories of taking part in 1983?

They rehearse you to death. You think, eat,sleep your three-minute song every hour of every day for six weeks or more. There's a huge pressure on you because you're representing your country.

For a 17-year-old it was the best experience though. We came sixth, which actually at the time was really shameful, but these days that would be a serious result.

Would you like to take part again?

No - I have no desire to do Eurovision again. I love watching it I wouldn't want to put myself through that again.

What do you think of our entry, Andy Abraham, this year as you did not vote for him on Eurovision: Your Decision.

It was really unfortunate because Andy shared his category with Michelle Gayle. I thought that Michelle a totally Eurovision song. Her routine, her outfit, was totally Eurovision.

Richard Park, Carrie Grant, David Grant and Robin Gib
Carrie Grant has been a talent judge on Fame Academy

I think Andy has one of the best voices out there, he's a really excellent singer but I didn't think his song was very Eurovision. He's a brilliant guy, I really want to support him, but I think that song is too sophisticated in a way.

Michelle's song was so geared towards a Eurovision audience with all its gimmicks and good singing, really catchy song, totally cheesy Eurovision style, whereas Andy's song is not cheesy at all, it's quite a good song.

Do you think the UK should continue to participate in the competition?

There's no way we can win now with so many eastern European countries who all vote for one another. But at the end of the day it's a lot of fun, it's still brilliant to watch.

And I really feel proud that we've got such a great singer. We haven't had good singers in the last couple of years.

He'll probably have the best vocal out of every country there. Now that is something I'm really proud of.

The final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Saturday 24 May and will be screened on BBC One at 2000 BST. Carrie Grant talked to BBC News entertainment reporter Fiona Pryor.


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