Belfast Telegraph

Eurovision 2018 – everything you need to know

Make sure you do not miss a note during this year’s contest.

It’s one of the longest-running and most watched non-sporting events in the world – Eurovision is back.

The 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Lisbon. Thousands of music fans will descend upon the Portuguese capital to see acts from 43 countries battle it out for the title.

Last year’s competition in Kiev was seen by over 180 million viewers.

The UK has not won the competition since 1997, when Katrina and The Waves were victorious in Dublin with Love Shine A Light. Will our luck change this year?

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Eurovision 2018.

Where can I watch it?

The entire competition will be broadcast across the BBC’s radio, TV and online services.

As one of the so-called ‘five big countries’ the UK is already assured of a place in the Grand Final, along with France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

But viewers can tune in for the two semi-finals to see if the likes of Azerbaijan, Greece and Ireland will be joining them. Both shows will be broadcast on BBC Four.

The Grand Final including the results will be screened live on BBC One and BBC Radio 2.

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ABBA celebrate winning Eurovision in Brighton in 1974.

What time does it start?

The Grand Final will get under way at 8pm on Saturday May 12.

The two-semi finals will also kick-off at 8pm on Tuesday May 8 and Thursday May 10. 

Who is presenting?

The ceremony in Lisbon will be hosted by an all-female presenting team.

Silvia Alberto, Filomena Cautela, Catarina Furtado and Daniela Ruah will share presenting duties for host broadcaster RTP.

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Graham Norton will provide commentary during the Eurovision Grand Final.

Graham Norton will once more provide commentary for the UK audience during the Grand Final.

Norton will also present his Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show live from Lisbon from 10am.

The semi-finals on BBC Four will see Scott Mills and Rylan Clark-Neal meeting the contestants and exploring the host city.

How do I vote?

Viewers from all participating countries will be invited to vote for their favourite songs. A phone number will be given after the final performance.

Voters will be unable to select their own country’s entry.

Scores from professional juries will be combined with points awarded by the public.

More details regarding the voting procedure can be found at bbc.co.uk/eurovision.

Who will award the UK’s points? 

Former Great British Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc will be live in London to announce who the UK’s jury of industry experts has awarded points to.

Who is representing the UK?

Singer-songwriter and classically trained musician SuRie will be flying the flag for the UK this year with anthemic and uplifting track Storm.

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SuRie will represent the UK with her song Storm.

She was previously a backing dancer and vocalist for Belgium’s 2015 entry, sung by Loic Nottet, which finished in fourth place.

Who is favourite to win?

Bookmakers Coral have made Israel’s Netta favourite to win the contest, with her song Toy. They have offered odds of 2/1.

Prospects of a British victory are bleak – Coral have given SuRie a 100/1 chance of taking the title.

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