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The show must go on! BBC unveils Eurovision content despite no contest

Graham Norton said he hopes the programming will help people ‘take their mind off the current situation for a few hours’.

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Graham Norton (Yui Mok/PA)

Graham Norton (Yui Mok/PA)

Graham Norton (Yui Mok/PA)

The BBC has unveiled its Eurovision content – despite the cancellation of this year’s contest.

A “host of Eurovision content” will air this month on TV and radio.

Graham Norton will present a “night of Eurovision fun” on BBC One, with viewers voting for their favourite Eurovision performance from an “eclectic shortlist”.

James Newman, who was due to fly the UK flag in The Netherlands in 2020, will be a guest on the show, Eurovision: Come Together.

Norton, who usually commentates on the contest, said: “Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times.

“This year, people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours.”

Eurovision: Come Together will be followed by the live show announced by Eurovision bosses as a replacement for the contest.

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light features the performers who would have competed in the 2020 contest, singing from their home countries in a non-competitive format.

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Rylan Clark-Neal is taking part in the BBC’s Eurovision programming (Lia Toby/PA)

Rylan Clark-Neal is taking part in the BBC’s Eurovision programming (Lia Toby/PA)

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Rylan Clark-Neal is taking part in the BBC’s Eurovision programming (Lia Toby/PA)

It is being simultaneously broadcast across Europe, and Norton will provide live commentary when it airs on BBC One.

On BBC Two, Rylan Clark-Neal will “take a sideways look” at the contest.

“The A-Z of Eurovision will feature all the disasters, the costume changes and memorable musical moments from 65 years of Eurovision,” the BBC said.

The presenter said: “It’s so sad that Eurovision 2020 had to be cancelled, but it’s understandable and it doesn’t mean we can’t still escape to the Eurovision bubble.”

A behind-the-scenes documentary with Newman, which began filming before the contest was cancelled because of the pandemic, will air on BBC iPlayer.

Other shows, from the archive, include TOTP2 Goes Eurovision! on BBC Two, Eurovision At 60 on BBC Four, and programming on BBC Radio 2.

Eurovision: Come Together airs at 6.30pm and Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light at 8pmon BBC One on May 16

PA