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Viewers’ favourite Eurovision song of all time revealed

Graham Norton led the BBC’s replacement coverage of the cancelled contest.

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Graham Norton (So TV/Christopher Baines/BBC)

Graham Norton (So TV/Christopher Baines/BBC)

Graham Norton (So TV/Christopher Baines/BBC)

Viewers have voted Abba’s song Waterloo as the greatest Eurovision Song Contest entry.

Host Graham Norton announced the result during the BBC’s replacement coverage of the contest.

The final of the 65th edition of the event was due to take place on Saturday night in Rotterdam, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The track came out top from a list of 19 acts, selected by a panel featuring broadcasters Ken Bruce, Rylan Clark-Neal, Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc.

The special programme, titled Eurovision: Come Together, saw Norton pay tribute to Sir Terry Wogan, who he succeeded as host of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage.

He told viewers: “I know this isn’t real Eurovision but this is song nine, and it is a tradition that we raise a glass on song nine for the late Sir Terry Wogan.

“As we look back over 64 years of Eurovision, I am sure that for many of you, Sir Terry was a highlight over the years. So we think of him and raise a glass.”

Norton marked song nine because Sir Terry once warned him not to drink alcohol before that point in the contest, in order to stay alert.

UK entries such as Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz, from 1981, and Love Shine A Light by Katrina And The Waves, from 1997, were among the list.

Swedish band Abba’s 1974 performance of Waterloo was also broadcast.

“This next group needs no introduction,” said Norton.

“Probably the most famous group to ever win Eurovision – it’s Brighton, it’s 1974, it’s Abba and a big pot plant. Waterloo, ladies and gentlemen.”

The series also featured an interview with James Newman, who was due to flay the flag for the UK at this year’s content.

Newman, brother of pop star John Newman, was hoping to improve the country’s prospects at the annual event after Michael Rice placed last in 2019 with Bigger Than Us.

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James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

PA

James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

Speaking via videolink, he recalled the moment he found out the contest had been cancelled.

He said: “It was before lockdown and me and my wife were just out for a drive actually. We’d just been out to get some shopping and stuff. And then I got a text and they were like: ‘It’s cancelled.’ I had to have a few minutes to myself.”

He tipped Iceland’s Think About Things by Dadi Og Gagnamagnid as the entry he had been looking forward to seeing.

The programme commenced BBC One’s replacement Eurovision coverage, and was followed by Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, which was organised to honour all the 41 songs which would have made up this year’s contest, in a non-competitive format.

PA