Page last updated at 08:17 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 09:17 UK

Wogan backs Norton at Eurovision

Graham Norton and Sir Terry Wogan
Sir Terry (r) hosted Eurovision for decades before Norton took over

Sir Terry Wogan has revealed he thought Graham Norton's commentary at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow was "wonderful".

The broadcaster told the Radio Times he thought the contest was "a spectacular show without a flaw in it".

Norton took over as commentator after Sir Terry stepped down, saying the contest's voting was too political.

This year the UK's entry Jade Ewen came fifth with a win for Norway's singer and violinist Alexander Rybak.

Improved voting

Sir Terry announced his intention to retire as Eurovision commentator after the 2008 contest in Belgrade, where the UK's entrant Andy Abrahams finished last.

People have said his approach was rather like mine, and all I can say is I take that as a compliment
Sir Terry Wogan on Graham Norton

He said the result was "tremendously disappointing" and that western European nations would have to question their future participation.

"Contrary to what is often believed I love Eurovision, or I couldn't have presented it for as long as I did," Sir Terry said.

"This year they sorted the voting out, and I thought Graham Norton was excellent.

"People have said his approach was rather like mine, and all I can say is I take that as a compliment."

Norton's performance was widely praised by critics, with his tongue-in-cheek style of humour seen as bringing a fresh feel to the role.

The 2009 contest, which ushered in a revised voting system, saw countries which had fared poorly in recent years - including the UK and France - return to the top 10.



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