Eurovision 2014 on BBC Radio 2
Editor, Digital, Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of my earliest childhood memories. I remember being very tiny and very poorly on a Saturday night. My temperature was so high, that my mother called the emergency doctor. I didn’t know they did house calls. He said I would be fine, prescribed something and suggested that I stay up really really late and watch the rest of the Eurovision Song Contest.
It was 1974 and Abba stormed to Sweden’s first ever win with Waterloo. I got better, they became one of the biggest recording groups of all time.
I have recently been surprised to discover that only 17 countries took part that year, and the contest was held not in Stockholm as most people assume, but Brighton.
Forty years on and the BBC is set to provide its most comprehensive coverage yet of the Eurovision Song Contest.
In addition to the live semi-finals on BBC Three and the final on BBC One we are launching Radio 2 Eurovision, four days of programming that reflects the history, culture and, of course, the fun of Eurovision.
The schedule reflects the depth of content that listeners have come to expect from Radio 2. There will be live shows from Copenhagen presented by Paddy O Connell and Scott Mills along with Radio 2 regulars Graham Norton and Ken Bruce. Ana Matronic and Bucks Fizz will set the party atmosphere on Saturday night with Paddy hosting a post-show party. There are Eurovision themed editions of Sounds of the 60’s with Brian Matthew, Sounds of the 70’s with Johnnie Walker and Sounds of the 80’s with Sara Cox. Terry Wogan presents the history of the Irish in the competition while David Quantick hosts the Blaggers Guide to Eurovision. There’s loads more including the story of Abba with Scott Mills, new shows hosted by Michael Ball, Maria McErlane and a range of archive documentaries.
Radio 2 Eurovision runs from midday to midnight from Thursday 8 May to Sunday 11 May, except on Saturday when we’re on air at 10am with Graham Norton. The final will be simulcast on Radio 2.
There will be a live blog and extensive social media (@R2Eurovision) for listeners to interact with and contribute to the on air output.
We are hoping that many of Radio 2's listeners - who number nearly 15.5 million - will listen on a digital radio or online for the first time. 62% of Radio 2 is still consumed on FM. Radio 2 Eurovision will be available on digital radio, although many with older sets may need to retune their radios to receive it. Additionally you will be able to listen at bbc.co.uk/radio, within BBC iPlayer Radio App, and on the UK Radio Player.
So roll on 8 May and….c’mon Molly!
Brett Spencer is Editor, Digital, Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network
- Follow @R2Eurovision on Twitter and Radio 2 on Facebook
- Read Matt Deegan's post about the pop-up station on Matt Deegan Writes
- Read Eurovision Executive Producer Guy Freeman’s vision for Copenhagen
- Read Ewan Spence’s blog Eurovision isn’t just for May, it’s for all year