Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 17:05 UK

Czechs withdraw from Eurovision

Gipsy.cz
The Czech entry in Moscow this year was called Aven Romale

The Czech Republic has announced it is quitting the Eurovision Song Contest, saying there is a lack of interest at home in the musical event.

The country, which made its debut in 2007, came last with no points in one of the semi-finals in May.

Its previous two attempts failed to reach the final, with rock band Kabat also coming last in the qualifying round two years ago.

Norway's Alexander Rybak scored a landslide win at this year's contest.

Comic character

A spokesman for Czech Television told the BBC's Rob Cameron in Prague that poor viewing figures for the show also prompted the decision.

This year's Czech entry was performed by Roma group Gipsy.cz, with its lead singer dressed as comic character Supergipsy.

It was the first time in five years that a country had failed to make a mark on the scoreboard.

Slovakia, the Czech Republic's closest neighbour, returned to Eurovision this year after a gap of 11 years.

Czech Television told Eurovision website ESC Today that the contest had proved a success in Slovakia, despite their failure to make the final.



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