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Friday, 19 May, 2000, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Eurovision: Is it time to switch the contest off?

The Eurovision Song Contest has reached its customary climax once again.

Denmark's greying Olsen Brothers' soaring anthem, Fly On The Wings Of Love, consigned the usual mix of the mad, the bad and the plain old sad to aural obscurity.

This year's hosts, Sweden, had the honour of taking the contest into a new millennium, but is it now time to consign the show we love to hate to the 20th Century?

Is Europe - famous for its culture, art and fine food - ready for life without the now kitsch Eurovision?

For some the competition has become a cult camp festival not to be missed, for others it is just too awful for words. Is it time to give it a rest?

What do you think? After the excitement - or monotony - of the occasion, is it time to switch the Eurovision Song Contest off for good? HAVE YOUR SAY

Keep Eurovision, and give the fantastic Terry Wogan a knighthood!

Kate, UK
Eurovision is an event I look forward to each year. It's tacky beyond belief, but absolutely hilarious. It's great to guess whose song will be the worst yet will pick up top marks from someone for no apparent reason, who'll come last, who'll have the worst costume, hit the most off-notes - the winner is immaterial to me! Keep Eurovision, and give the fantastic Terry Wogan a knighthood!
Kate, UK

Eurovision is a highlight of my television year. It is pure entertainment enjoyed by millions across the whole continent and beyond. It continues to go from strength to strength and I hope it will prosper for many years to come. Far from dumping it from the schedules, the BBC should give it a higher profile.
Simon Bennett, UK

Only a mad scheduler would scrap a smash hit now. But come on, BBC, devote more and better time to A SONG FOR EUROPE, please.

Jonathan King, UK
I got involved as Music Executive for the UK entry (A Song For Europe) 6 years ago in order to revive what was then a contest dying on its feet - with collapsing ratings because the entries were so dire. Since then ALL our UK entries have been big hits and the ratings have exploded. This year, 50% of the viewing audience at 10.30pm were watching Eurovision. And the four biggest winners will ALL become global hits - Denmark, Russia, Latvia and Estonia. And the last three of those are TEENAGERS - given international careers by Eurovision. It's now relevant as well as popular and funny (thanks to Terry's wonderful commentary). Only a mad scheduler would scrap a smash hit now. But come on, BBC, devote more and better time to A SONG FOR EUROPE, please. We need millions more voters to choose our entry if we are to win again as we did in 1997.
Jonathan King, UK

Whenever the UK does badly this same question pops up from the BBC. What bad losers we must appear to be in the eyes of the other European nationals who have read this page. Had Nikki French won on Saturday night this web page would be asking people where we should stage the contest in 2001. It is not time to scrap the contest but time for the BBC to sort out the pre-selection procedures it currently operates.
This year's Song For Europe was diabolical with Nikki French coming through because it was 'catchy' and nothing at all to do with British modern musical tastes. So come on BBC make it more attractive to represent the UK and maybe next year we will be debating 'Birmingham or Manchester in 2002' on this website.
John McInally, UK

I love Eurovision more than life itself.

Chris Melville, United Kingdom
I love Eurovision more than life itself. The ESC is an infinitely complex mixture of culture, politics and emotion - a very far cry from the simple three hours of television most people know - it's a whole different story when you are involved. To destroy the Eurovision would be to affect greatly the lives of many people, no joke. There are issues involved here which are beyond the comprehension of the vast majority of casual television viewers - don't meddle with things you don't understand.
Chris Melville, United Kingdom

The ESC is still a great laugh, especially as most of the entries are now earnest and sincere (e.g. Ireland's entry), although I sorely miss the Binga-Banga-Bong type of songs. My own particular favourites were Latvia (a sort of Beck and Jarvis Cocker crossed with Jim Carrey) and the gold lame' Glitter Band with James Whale on rapping duty (I think it was Netherlands or some Scandinavian country). Terrific!
Alex, UK

The Euro Song Contest has always been embarrassing.

Mike Lander, England
The Euro Song Contest has always been embarrassing. This is not a new phenomenon. It is as superficial as TV sport to me. Yes - turn it off!
Mike Lander, England

No-one is forcing people to watch it, should there be a similar poll to see if we should axe Eastenders because personally I hate it? I think there will not be - so as the audience figures remain high it should remain (and when not moved to BBC2)!
Spencer, UK

Sing in your own native language so that the ESC gets something of its charm back.
Jan, The Netherlands

Erm, isn't the EUROPEAN aspect meant to mean that it covers Europe? Last I checked Russian and Israel were a little outside Europe. Why not add a few African countries, and America, Australia is keen I hear. I'm sure no one will notice. Nil Points till then!
Matt, UK

#Ding-a-dong every hour/When you pick a flower/Even when your lover is gone, gone, gone/Sing Ding-ding-dong#
Suzey, UK

The Eurovision Song Contest is a farce. All those countries taking part have different cultures and obviously have different tastes in music.
Anne Rowbottom, England

Keep the Eurovision Contest I say! But I do feel that the rules are rather dated, and that they need to look at the way the scoring is done. Countries should not be allowed to give high scores to neighbouring countries. Maybe, just maybe then we could all sit back and enjoy the contest for what it is really meant to signify.
Tracey Lisle, Germany

Where has there ever been a more popular song contest?

Anna, Ireland
The very fact that all of you people are submitting your comments, good and bad, shows that the Eurovision is getting to you. Where has there ever been a more popular song contest? If I had to change one thing, I would abolish the tele-voting - as many have pointed out, there is a lot of politics involved. So bring back the juries and let the show go on¿.
Anna, Ireland

Ollie B is deluded if he thinks that the nation that gave the world The Sun, the Daily Sport, Eastenders, the Spice Girls and the Millennium Dome are culturally superior to anybody, let alone the rest of Europe. However, the Eurovision Song Contest has precious little to do with culture. It's tacky entertainment at its finest, and is 'mostly harmless'.
Andy D, London, UK

I think that Eurovision has been a farce for a good while now, I mean come off it Israel is not even in Europe! Israel's participation should not be allowed on the grounds that they are not Europeans, supposedly.
Imtiaz Khan, UK

The Eurovision song contest is and will always remain a politically driven entertainment event.

Pande Bozinovski, Republic of Macedonia
Eurovision, for the Macedonian entry, this year has been a bitter experience. I refer to the unfolding scandal of the deliberate blocking of the Macedonian vote phone number. As a matter of fact the Macedonian Broadcaster, MRT (Makedonska Radio Televizija), almost brought the fiasco to a head by declaring on the night a fraud and deliberate hindrance had been bestowed upon the Macedonian Delegation.
The Eurovision song contest is and will always remain a politically driven entertainment event. Though I find I am most outraged that a small but always fair country like Macedonia has become a victim of Euro-politics, and more obviously the Macedonian and Greek conflict...
Pande Bozinovski, Republic of Macedonia

I completely agree with what Tom from Northern Ireland said earlier. At least the songs involved in the ESC are original, with those involved not interested in commercial gain, unlike most of the dross inflicted on an unwilling public by a music industry incredibly bereft of ideas, regurgitating packaged boy-bands, girl-bands, covers groups, sampling etc.... It's the same old tune being such by the UK media and Anglophile Irish press every year. Scrap the ESC? Scrap the charts more like! Wouldn't our lives be duller without it?
Will, Ireland

I've only read in the news about the Russian entry, but I was embarrassed: that performer is horrible! It's a good thing I didn't get to actually see the contest - I would have been even more ashamed for my country than I was during the Ice Hockey World Championships.
Andrej, Russia

Eurovision may be tacky and a bit boring at times but lets face it there's nothing else like it anywhere in the world. So long live Eurovision! If anything the event is in danger of becoming hijacked by wanna-be boy and girl bands if this year was anything to go by.
Thomas Lloyd, UK

Terry Wogan should get a lifetime achievement award at the next BAFTA awards.

Christine, UK
Why do you all complain about the ESC? In this day and age with cable, satellite and digital TV you can't possibly claim that anybody's making you watch it so please let those of us who enjoy it watch it in peace! I personally love it. I think the voting is brilliant. So what if Denmark and Iceland always give each other 12 points? It's not a matter of life and death. It's not like Denmark and Iceland win every year. If the neighbourly voting had been as bad as some people seem to think, how come Israel won two years ago? And why is Turkey doing so well these days? Terry Wogan should get a lifetime achievement award at the next BAFTA awards. I urge all those of you who don't like the Eurovision Song Contest to tune in to another channel next year and let the rest of us enjoy it without having to feel guilty about it.
Christine, UK

Eurovision is wonderful! The "voting for your neighbour", the hosts' impatience with the juries, the contest to be this year "nil points" turkey, the handmade costumes, Ireland trying hard not to win and still getting votes, it's all too good to ever be canned. We look forward to our annual Eurovision party for months beforehand. What's the EU's new motto? Unity through Diversity, amen to that!
Paul, UK

Eurovision has nothing to do with the promotion of European culture. The quality of the songs are very poor and, generally, do not reflect local European music. I see it as one big circus that helps bring attention to the host country and to the various hand-picked artists.
Konstantine Sasmatzoglou, Greece

It's the one time in the year non-anglophone pop gets international airtime

Agnete, Denmark
NEVER!!! I cherish Europe's cultural edge, but Eurovision is simply the TV event of the year, be it in Britain (watched it in the UK 3 times), Denmark, or elsewhere. It's light and bubbly, and it's the one time in the year non-anglophone pop gets international airtime. It's the one thing that counteracts the monotony of the musical globalisation, and it only happens once a year. It's lovable, laughable and better than watching endless repetitions of other TV junk. Keep it Keep it Keep it!
Agnete, Denmark

I agree with Rachel from Israel. Let's ditch the music, and just score the other countries on what we think of them as countries! That would be much more entertaining.
James Richardson, UK

What a gloriously silly contest! Long may it live on! Terry Wogan's caustic humour is worth the 3 hours alone!
Andy B, England

Every time we DON'T win we want to scrap it

Kenneth Jorgensen, UK
The question is raised EVERY year both in Britain and my native Denmark and every time we DON'T win we want to scrap it. Bad losers that's what we are. If I don't want to see it then I switch TV channel or do something else and get on with life.
Kenneth Jorgensen, UK

I can't believe there is even a debate on this. The Eurovision Song Contest is remarkably popular for some reason and although extremely naff should continue provided it can achieve suitable audiences. Personally I wish it didn't but what can you do.
Andrew Leonard, UK

Of course most of the songs are rubbish but then so are most of the "songs" on TOTP - lighten up, it's only once a year
Tom, N. Ireland

I think it is an embarrassment!

Ollie, England
I think it is an embarrassment! The songs are invariably terrible, and, instead of bringing Europe together, only serve to highlight how different and culturally superior we British are to our European "partners". The continual bent voting hardly endears it to the British either - fair play is very important to us!
Ollie, England

The Eurovision Song Contest is quite unique. On the one hand it can be tacky but more importantly it is musical "talent" on a European scale. Although we are all becoming encased in a "global", idealistic world, music remains refreshingly diverse - and long may that continue.
The contest allows us to appreciate the different musical tastes and cultures of our neighbouring countries. Okay, I know that some of the songs sound "alien" to the stereotypically trained musical ears of us Brits, but the stars and performers that take part in the show have a very great talent. Variety is the spice of life!
Gary McCartney, UK

I think that we should keep it. It's more fun than a whole season of cricket and football. But if people are unhappy with the music chosen to represent our countries, why don't the organisers open up the competition, and give the whole European public the chance to write something for the competition?
I'd love to have a go at writing something for the UK, but I've never been able to get any details of how to submit a song!
Ruth, England

It time to end Eurovision song contest since it was obvious on Saturday that politics is involved in voting.
Miki, Greece

As someone that was actually IN THE HALL let me point out the following:

1) There were NO BAD performances. Songs have a right to be there.. Anyone who knocks performers evidently have never entered the thing!!

2) 150 Million People watched this show. Therefore are they all mad??

3) 535,000 People telephoned their votes in to the BBC. Dispelling the theory that it is becoming LESS popular.

4) How can people say that the "young" Generation has no Interest. Look at the Latvians (Who WILL go well around Europe!) And the Russians, and several others will have hits out of this.

5) The EBU who run the Eurovision will NOT stop it.. As there are 35 countries trying to fill 23 places each year.. and more on the way!!! It must be popular for them to release an Album with all of the songs on it ( A very VERY rare event)

So Finally to all those narrow minded, bigoted, people who THINK they know what the contest is about my answer is simple. You have no clue! It's popular and gaining popularity and will go from strength to strength.
Phil Colclough, UK

Please keep Eurovision - it serves as an annual reminder of how amusing facial hair can be, and also reminds us that the rest of Europe is just as bigoted as us - Thank you EBU.
Paul, UK

We favoured the Russian entry and each time they won points we cheered and had a "Mexican Wave" around the room

Jenny Ashton, Britain
This appalling contest has become cult viewing, so much so that a group of us got together on Saturday just to share the experience. Mostly we favoured the Russian entry and each time they won points we cheered and had a "Mexican Wave" around the room. We all groaned when Denmark started to pick up points and could not believe the results But the thing that makes the evening for us is Terry Wogan. His incisive comments, wit and repartee have us in stitches All in all a great evening, up there with the Rocky Horror Movie Show and Little Shop of Horrors Vive the Eurovision Song Contest - douze points!!
Jenny Ashton, Britain

Why bother sending Terry Wogan there - his attitude and jokes were even worse than Swedish ones!
Arttu, FIN

If it must be screened, consign it to a pay-to-view channel - Then we'll see how many people really value it!

Paul, UK
Who pays for this rubbish? Not only the staging in the host country, but also the broadcast costs in the UK? It's utter rubbish. If it must be screened, consign it to a pay-to-view channel. Then we'll see how many people really value it!
Paul, UK

Scrap the Eurovision Song Contest?! Hey, you are just cross because Britain never wins. He he.
Søren, Denmark

As long as Terry Wogan gives his tongue in cheek narration it will be worth watching. If anyone took it too seriously then it would lose all its charm.
Judith, England

Did anyone ever hear a song as bad as this being performed with such earnestness?

Stijn de Jong, Netherlands
And we shouldn't forget the artists themselves. The ESC is the only chance for people who are normally sentenced to the "weddings, parties, anything" circuit to get some exposure - and make utter fools of themselves in the process. This year's winner is a case in point. Did anyone ever hear a song as bad as this being performed with such earnestness? That song is so terrible, so incredibly awful that it just has to be a work of genius.
Stijn de Jong, Netherlands

I think the Eurovision Song Contest is not only boring, it is tacky as well.

Sadaf Zaidi, UK
The Eurovision Song Contest isn't just about the music, but it is one night where all of Europe is unified, and it's not very often that this happens. Also, there is nothing else like it anywhere else in the world. Eurovision should stay!
Ciaran Smith, Northern Ireland

I think the Eurovision Song Contest is not only boring, it is tacky as well. I watched it last year for my sins and it made me cringe. The songs were awful and coupled with the delays, obvious swapping of marks amongst friendly countries made the whole event a joke.
Sadaf Zaidi, UK

I've heard of Eurovision before, but I didn't know it was still around. BBC World News reported it yesterday, so I decided to check out the site itself. There were only three songs on there that agreed with me but it would be nice to see the contest broadcast in the U.S. possibly by syndication (kind of like what they used to do with the Montereux Rock Festival). There is a lot of good music across the pond that we don't get to hear.
Pat McCurry, USA

The songs get a bit tiresome so perhaps we could scrap them and just have an hour of exciting European scoring.
Rachel, Israel

Eurovision is the best event to have a party to. I know, we did this a couple of years ago. It is the best time of year when having a barbecue beforehand gets the atmosphere going. Then get everyone to 'be' a country and drink according to the points you acquire. We had about thirty people cheering in front of our humble little TV throughout the whole event, and it bolstered that brotherly European brotherhood too! It's cheesy, but it hits the spot. Long live Eurovision!
Jon B, Sweden

I think we should keep the Eurovision Song Contest just to remind me once a year why the UK should not be part of a "United States of Europe!"

Greg Sellers, UK
I'm not a great fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. On the other hand, so much "dirt" comes from the TV nowadays. So why would we have anything against a program where positive and glad songs are sung? Furthermore I think that this event is important because it in some way ties the European countries together - music is an international language.
John Norgaard, Denmark

Eurovision is good fun. It may not be high brow but it certainly makes me laugh, and that can only be a good thing. There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous and Eurovision is glorious annual proof of this. Besides Britain couldn't withdraw even if they wanted to; they have to enter and have to screen! Hurrah!!
Mairi-Claire , Scotland

I wouldn't miss the Eurovision! Terry Wogan is wonderful, treating it all with the scepticism it deserves. As I write this we are half way through the voting (delayed telecast) and it is as eccentric as ever! Long may it last in all its kitsch glory.
Sandra, Australia

The contest is in its forty-fifth year, and as long as I can remember, each year we get the same old "It's a load of old rubbish" or "It's about time we stopped taking part" comments. If the BBC took the contest a little more seriously and put a bit of effort into choosing a half decent song which represents British popular music, then the contest might regain just a hint of credibility with the general public. This year apparently was the worst ever result, for the UK, which is hardly surprising if you've heard the song. While they are at it, they would do well to get rid of that idiot Jonathon King who has done them no favours as "Eurovision consultant" over the past few years.
Dave, Japan

I think we should keep the Eurovision Song Contest just to remind me once a year why the UK should not be part of a "United States of Europe!"
Greg Sellers, UK

I am watching a delayed telecast of the contest right now. However I couldn't face the agonising voting process, so I have gone on the net get the result. Sweden singing about North American Indians? What's that all about? Keep the contest going, it's a bit of a laugh!
Victoria Trotter, Australia

Eurovision is a truly great event. Long Live Eurovision!

Del, UK
Eurovision is a truly great event, and Tel never fails to make me laugh with his blather. It's about an education into our European neighbours, and just honest fun. Long Live Eurovision!
Del, UK

No, no, no. I wouldn't miss it for worlds. I have many happy memories of such things as the amazing Guildo Horn and his supremely terrible act, the glorious Dana International, and of course all those beautiful views of Ireland. When else do I ever get a chance to hear Finnish songs and Bosnian pop? This programme should be treasured.
Geraldine, England

Keep it going also looking forward to listen to the clever wit of Terry wogan at least once a year.
Rolf Horst, Australia

Keep it! But why sing in English when Europe has so many different and beautiful languages?
Sonia Luisa, UK

I think it's a great show, yes it's cheesy but its great entertainment on a Saturday night. Terry Wogans sarcasm is a joy to listen to. It should be kept, after all it is only once a year.
Richard Dennerley, UK

Nitsan izrael, Israel
We can only assume that one of the reasons that some Poms want to get rid of the Eurovision Song Contest is because of the distinct lack of contemporary Pommy singing talent. Any contest that can dig up a talent like ABBA can't be all bad. Cheers, Rene Pedersen
Rene Pedersen, Australia

Keep it! Better still, launch a Eurovision channel.
Julia, UK

I've never heard of it until now. I would love to see it

Greg Burton, USA
I've never heard of it until now. I would love to see it, it would have to be better than endless nights of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire".
Greg Burton, USA

It's only a bit of fun, what's the problem with that! By the way, has anyone else noticed the resemblance between the opening line of the British entry and Father Dick Byrne's song from the "Song for Europe" episode of Father Ted?
Anna, U.K.

The Eurovision is more to do with political correctness than the music itself. I appreciate the way the BBC air the spectacle but in all honesty, you can catch Terry on the radio now, thus there is little reason to endure the fiasco of European music, which lets face it often hits a bum note
Gareth, Wales

Yes Yes Yes. The Eurovision should be scrapped. All the songs are rubbish, and not even we have a good one.
Daniel Wood, Untied Kingdom

If you don't like it watch something else, don't spoil it for others

Steve Hanwell, England
I think it's great stuff, why on earth would anyone want to ban it? Its a great time for so many people across Europe and beyond. I just don't understand why anyone would want to ban it. If you don't like it watch something else, don't spoil it for others.
Steve Hanwell, England, U.K

Keep it! It is the most delightful tongue in cheek piece of kitsch you will ever get. Me? I shall be down in the pub anyway!
Alasdair, Scotland

I really hate the Eurovision song contest. The music makes me feel sick. I prefer the UK charts any day, but all these ear screeching songs are horrible and the coverage is annoying as it takes the place of better programs.
Gary, UK

It's the biggest non-event of the year. However, there is no point in axing it, just take it off our screens or consign it to channel 5. Please BBC, let us have something worth watching on a Saturday evening.
Peter Kidds, UK

Where else can every European country laugh and ridicule its neighbours without fear of accusations of xenophobia?

Jason, England
The Eurovision is a wonderful part of European heritage. Where else can every European country laugh and ridicule its neighbours without fear of accusations of xenophobia? Virtually everyone I know is planning on watching it tonight. If the bureaucrats ever tried to cancel the show there would be national outcry and public lynchings!
Jason, London, England

Completely agree with Tony in the UK - it's once a year and a good laugh. Why get so serious? Let's hope that Ireland don't win again, or else RTÉ (our national broadcaster) will try to put up our licence fees to pay for next year . My money is on Iceland or the Netherlands. I can't wait.
David, Ireland

I find it amazing that no-one thought to comment on the fact that most Eurovision songs nowadays are sung in English. Kind of defeats the purpose! Perhaps the contest should be called "the new world order -vision"
Ana Gradiska, U.K

The considerable cost to the participants and the host country would be much better spent on better programmes. Perhaps even more could be saved by pensioning off Wogan too!!
Martyn Smith, uk

It's so much better than 80% of the rubbish we watch

Nick, UK
Just leave it alone ! OK - so it's retro in many respects but looking at TV as a's so much better than 80% of the rubbish we watch ! Long live EUROVISION and TERRY WOGAN !!!!!
Nick, UK

Absolutely not. Eurovision is one of the few opportunities left in this bland bureaucratic Europe for some irony and politically incorrect behaviour (the usual Greece-Cyrprus voting system for example!).
Richard Spurr, England

Not everybody likes football either but the cup final gets aired on TV. We all meet up at one of our friends houses every year to watch the Eurovision song contest and have a great laugh at some of the dreadful songs that somehow manage to get through to the final. Somehow you just get taken by the excitement of the evening... lets keep it on the box.
Darryn Watson, Denmark

Yet again this same boring question comes up for discussion. Give it a rest why don't you. The Contest is three solid hours of harmless fun just once a year. Is it not too much to ask for us fans to be able to enjoy the Contest in peace ? Anyway I wonder how many more programmes get higher ratings on the BBC? Not that many. Enjoy the Contest and look forward to it being staged in the UK in 2001, when doubtless this stupid question will come up yet again.
Tony, UK

In spite of the fact that the musical content of the contest is sometimes poor, every year it produces its high spots. This year, as an example, the overall quality and especially the variety of the songs is quite good - there are only a few really poor efforts - and songs like the controversial Israeli and the Latvian (almost Oasis-like) entry may do a lot to promote the contest to a wider audience. Moreover, many people love it BECAUSE of its eccentricity. And at the end of the day, one can forgive the Contest for all its "La La La"s and "Ding a Dongs" simply because of "Waterloo" and the group that this spawned.
Gaby Pell, UK but now working in the Euro-forsaken USA!

I could well do without it. There is better music in lifts these days

Ian, UK
Twenty years ago the Eurovision Song Contest was losing its relevance. The funny thing is that today in a music market of canned and commercially engineered, middle-of-the road bands it has regained some relevance. However, the current trends are very rarely seen on the contest. Instead, trends from two or three years ago are showcased as the voters are generally out of the loop in music trends. Because of this, it is not a place for new and up and coming groups and is instead just a place for journeyman groups to rehash rubbish in the most inoffensive way possible. A rant? Maybe, but a contest such as this should be about excellence, not about television showing us more inoffensive mediocrity. Personally, I could well do without it. There is better music in lifts these days.
Ian, UK

A naff spectacle - but a spectacle nonetheless

Andrew, UK
From an Irish point of view, having won it so often, we are terrified we might win it again as the cost to our National TV has been enormous relative to the size of the country. However, we do enjoy watching the voting and trying to spot the political arrangements that lead to some extremely funny scores. So, the logical thing to do would be to omit the singing and cut straight to the voting. Votes could then be cast based on the song titles and ones perception of the country in question. It's a bit of fun so don't let's get too precious about it.
Leo Mahon, Ireland.

I'm just wondering where this talking point has come from. Who raised it? Everyone I have spoken with about Eurovision these past few days has been looking forward to it. Surely the UK viewing figures alone speak for themselves. It is such an unusual event. My opinion is that people who have a bee in their bonnet about ESC fail to see it for what it is - A naff spectacle - but a spectacle nonetheless.
Andrew, UK

I've never seen such a loaded question in all my life. "Is it enjoyably camp or just awful?" - for heaven's sake! If people judged the contest as it is now rather than when they last watched it in 1973, then they might have a different opinion of it. We're in for an excellent night on 13 May, and I hope a few people are prepared to listen without prejudice for some really high quality songs (and yes, a couple of utter stinkers - but it IS a contest!)
Nick Deller, United Kingdom

What's the point in axing it? If you don't like it, nobody's forcing you to watch it!
Mark, UK

This is just about the only light relief emanating from self-important Euroland

Peter C Kohler, USA
My husband and I have lived in various parts of Europe off and on over the last 17 years and enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest very much. We miss it when we return to Canada and can't find a station that even shows parts of it. The only thing that confuses me is the Geography of "Europe" as opposed to what I learned in school. Don't give up on it - Export it!
J.Templeman, Canada

In a nutshell - no. The very fact that we're talking about it means that it has a following and that people are interested.
williamdfr, Ireland - France

Get rid of the Eurovision Song Contest? Never. This is just about the only light relief emanating from self-important Euroland. It's also soothing for we Americans whom Europeans like to dismiss as cultural wasters. One Eurovision evening makes us feel, well, almost equal! We can appreciate the true meaning of that German adjective: kitsch. The great pity is that they don't broadcast it on US network television, possibly as revenge for some of the rubbish telly we export.
Peter C. Kohler, USA

As someone hasn't lived in Britain for seven years, trust me when I say: "You'll miss it when it's gone."
Catherine Penfold, USA

It's only an entertainment show that unites Europe. It's Entertainment and you can take it too seriously. If UK don't wanna take part that's OK since there are others who are willing to do so. Also it seems BBC is not interested to promote the happening to achieve maximum audience; BBC only makes jokes about it, like this way: "Then again, you could always go down the pub instead" of watching ESC. What kind of promotion is that? I hope to see UK in, unfortunately I already know my county Finland won't take part next year: the reason is there's not space for everyone and I am not happy.
Tomi, Finland

You'll miss it when it's gone

Catherine Penfold, USA
Quite the contrary, I think the Eurovision competition is getting slicker. It is not the tired old festival of years gone by. Would like to see bigger names in it plus previews shown as there is now televoting.
Steve Wilson, UK

Sums up everything about European integration - an out of tune, hopelessly tacky, totally pointless, waste of money, fuelled by bitter-enemies, cronyism completely repulsive to the British Public.
Vernon Hunte, England

Keep it! Where would we be without the likes of ABBA and Bucks Fizz? And while we're on the subject of Euro TV - bring back Jeux Sans Frontiers! That was one of the best TV shows of all time.
Mal Lansell, UK

Please, whatever the BBC does in the future, it MUSTN'T lose interest in the Eurovision! Come on, it's one night a year!!! How many endless repeats/programmes do we have dedicated to sport? There would, I feel, be a national outcry if you scrapped support for the Eurovision. Don't even think about it!
Richard Howard, United Kingdom!

I think that this show has been around long enough. Does anybody even watch it? They never get the big stars and the whole show is badly done.
Jerry Anderson, USA

It's great fun - just don't take it too seriously! I've watched every year since Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson were our entrants. And I think Terry Wogan strikes the right balance. It's fun - don't analyse - just enjoy!
Peter Stack, England

We love the Eurovision, it's the only competition the UK finish in the top three year after year.

Gary Smith, England
Eurovision is a bit of fun, a tongue in cheek affair, that happens once a year, and we Brits love it. The viewing figures are massive. Let it be, it's a laugh !
Tarquin Farquar, UK

We love the Eurovision, it's the only competition the UK finish in the top three year after year.
Gary Smith, England

I think that the festival has become an awful event and fully agree that it is time to go for good.

Paul Caligari, Malta
Every year it's the same, should the ESC be put to the scrap heap. Well I don't think its time just yet! It's a highly viewed entertainment show which is great showing off all that is bad in Europe, remember it was supposed to bring Europe together, well it does the opposite, its just harmless fun. If it was past its best then why does ITV think that the formula works since they have commissioned "The Most Popular Song In The World" to be shown next year, according to all the rumours and press reports! It's just innocent fun let's not forget that!
Scott, United Kingdom

I think that the festival has become an awful event and fully agree that it is time to go for good.
Paul Caligari, Malta

The songs are awful (as all pop music is) but I always enjoyed watching the scoreboard moving and cheering for Turkey or Norway (who always got zero). Mindless rubbish really.
Richard, Canada

This a great opportunity for Europe to get closer. There is nothing wrong in it.
Goran , Yugoslavia

It is only naff to the older generation. Youngsters can put up with it so why axe it?
Terry Middlemiss, England

Absolutement pas! Nein, nein, nein! Eurovision must stay, if just for the superb Terry Wogan!

Michelle, England
Yes get rid of the awful thing please. It has no cultural worth whatsoever. All it is several hours excruciating, inconsequential, hyped-up boredom. Please save us from this torture, Europe is bad enough as it is without having this forced down our throats.
Iwan Turzanski, Netherlands

Absolutement pas! Nein, nein, nein! Eurovision must stay, if just for the superb Terry Wogan!
Michelle, England

Nonsense! It's the very awfulness of the show that is so appealing. It provides an antidote, or a 'safe fix' for all our petty little bigotries and nationalisms. Nul Points, the final ignominy of the proud nation, causes few sleepless nights, little heart searching, and no real long term antagonism. Greece will give Cyprus 12 points, and vice versa, Spain and Portugal will share Iberian brotherhood, Britain will condescend to give Ireland a few points, which Ireland will wilfully refuse to reciprocate, and nobody will vote for the Germans, unless they send a post-pubescent nymphet, in which case they'll probably win. And Sweden will continue to produce Eurotrash classics that will always be a little kitschier yet classier than the perennial bridesmaid - the UK.

To remove this pageant because some people find it awful, frankly that criteria would doom every show on terrestrial, satellite and cable combined. Nothing can be liked by everyone, but as usual I suspect the Eurovision will pull in the armchair punters for many years to come. Vive la difference!!
Martin McEvoy, Northern Ireland

It's always a shame that is often "fashionable" to knock Eurovision. The British will not only criticise success, but we will also dismiss anything we don't really understand. (The whole of Europe - and the Eurovision area - knows that the anglophones are traditionally not very good at other languages, so the cultural attraction of linguistic diversity is sadly lost on most BBC viewers. I sincerely hope - even in these days of "any language goes" - that we continue to maintain the Eurovision song contest for its virtues. As a technical feat, it is virtually unmatched by its achievements - so we should tolerate the occasional glitch. There is still also a very real need for the "old-fashioned" notion of unity that can be brought about by the international language of song. Life is too short to spend all of it complaining - let's have fun! Ne partez pas sans moi!
Garry Bryan, US (ex-pat Brit)

I think that the Eurovision song contest is great - it may be corny but does anyone not love it?
Daniel R Hamilton, UK

If the Eurovision song contest actually involved some fairly decent music it would be OK. As far as I see it, it is just an outdated boring event that is only worth watching to see what Terry Wogan says about France.
Mark Carruth, England

You must be joking! There are Eurovision house parties going on all over the country. I'm sad that I'm far away and so will miss it this year. Awful songs, political voting, Terry's light sarcasm, nil points - this is fantastic stuff! Don't forget to turn on subtitles for extra amusement.
Ian, Brit in U.S.A.

It's an excuse to sit around the telly and ridicule everything and everyone. Good family entertainment. We should keep it as an annual reminder that maybe its for the best that we should keep a distance from our European neighbours.
Ayesha, UK

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See also:

12 May 00 | Entertainment
The politics of Eurovision
20 Feb 00 | Entertainment
UK Euro entry has French flavour
21 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Eurovision loss for PM's daughter
01 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Sweden in Eurovision heaven
29 May 99 | Entertainment
Religious rows disrupt Eurovision harmony
10 May 98 | Eurovision
Israel has the Song for Europe
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