Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 17:13 UK

Wogan 'may quit Eurovision role'

Sir Terry Wogan criticises this years contest

Sir Terry Wogan said he may quit as the BBC's Eurovision commentator, as the UK entry sung by former X Factor finalist Andy Abraham finished in last place.

Sir Terry cast doubt on his role after saying this year's results showed it was "no longer a music contest".

Sir Terry, who has commentated on the competition since the 1970s, told BBC News: "I don't want to be presiding over yet another debacle."

Abraham received 14 points for his song Even If, as Russia won with 272 points.

"Russia were going to be the political winners from the beginning," he told viewers at the end of his commentary on Saturday.

"I think it's tremendously disappointing from the point of view of the United Kingdom," he added.

"Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved far more points than it got when you look at the points that Spain got, that Bosnia-Hercegovina got - some really ridiculous songs."


Andy Abraham performing Even If

Sir Terry said his producer, Kevin Bishop, was retiring after this year's contest.

"He and I have to decide whether we want to do this again," he said.

"Indeed, western European participants have to decide whether they want to take part from here on in because their prospects are poor."

On Sunday, Sir Terry added: "I'd like to think that the British music industry and [Eurovision organisers] the European Broadcasting Union will find some way of making the voting a little bit fairer."

2008 - Andy Abraham, 25th place
2007 - Scooch, 22nd
2006 - Daz Sampson, 19th
2005 - Javine, 22nd
2004 - James Fox, 16th
2003 - Jemini, 26th
Abraham received six points from San Marino - who were taking part for the first time - and eight from Ireland.

The singer said after the contest: "It's very easy to pick a country that's going to give another country 12 points. It's sad, it's really, really sad.

"It was all talked about beforehand and I decided that I was going to dismiss it. But it's very difficult to dismiss something that's right in your face."

Germany and Poland also received 14 points each, but they officially finished above the UK because their top scores in a single round were higher.

Unfortunately the UK entry was clearly the worst, we deserved to come last
Carl, Penrith

Russia received the maximum 12 points from former Soviet states Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia, as well as Israel.

But Sir Terry was generous about the Russian song, Believe, performed by Dima Bilan.

"Let's not take it away from him, let's congratulate him," he said.

The UK has only finished in the top 10 once in the last 10 contests - but has finished outside the top 20 four times in that period.

Early indications were that the UK audience for Saturday night's show was down compared with previous years.

An average of 7.1 million people watched BBC One's three-and-a-quarter hour programme, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Last year's contest was seen by 8.77 million, a total which includes those who recorded the contest to watch it later.


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