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BBC Eurovision Producer Helen's Blog - Part 2

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BBC Eurovision Andrew BBC Eurovision Andrew | 13:34 UK time, Tuesday, 10 May 2011


A bumper entry from the lovely Helen today - an omnibus as it were - covering off the last few days of Blue's journey through Eurovision-land. Here's what she had to say




Sunday dawned and back we went to the Dusseldorf Stadium. Dusseldorf United were playing at home. Well, at that pop up home they’ve built next door to their real home which is now the home of Eurovision…do keep up.

NDR wanted to follow and film Blue’s day at the arena. I would like to say I knew why their female presenter walked everywhere with a dolphin balloon tied to her wrist, but I would be lying. I would like to say that I found her balloon highly amusing and endearing after five hours, but again, I would be lying. As it was, when she eventually did get to talk to Blue, they popped her balloon, inhaled the helium and gave a Donald Duck version of “I Can”.  You see it’s moments like this that will make my book a bestseller. I might make an initial call to Cameron Diaz about playing me in the screenplay.


The rather scrummy Gary Lloyd is our choreographer. When I’m in a good mood I promote him to “Creative Director”, when I’m feeling a bit so so, he gets demoted to “The bloke that dances”. He and I have managed to learn all the Spanish routine, la la la la la la laaaaaa etc etc. He does it in time and with style. I’m more of your free styling type, but how we love to la la la la la laaaaaaa together. Ooooh. Does that sound a bit rude?


 Blue on stage in rehearsals for Eurovision 2011

So, more on stage rehearsals. My “N” has miraculously appeared. It was worth all that flirting with a man called Julien at the back of the hall.  To be honest, I had a day of it on Saturday, the screens behind the boys were wrong and it’s my responsibility to make sure they’re right. To begin with they kept on spelling out “I CAA” which we all know by now is not the title of our UK entry, that would be plain silly.  The more I had it out with Michael on the graphics desk, the more he said  “I can’t” to which the only reply was…nooooo Michael, it’s “I can”.



Monday. Have given up with the Day 1, Day 2 thing. Am numerically dyslexic.


Blue went off to Cologne for yet more interviews. The amount of press they are receiving is in my opinion, unprecedented – I found that word in my thesaurus, Hope it means the right thing. They are in great demand. They constantly shuttle between press, tv, photo shoots. They are ridiculously hard working, and not one grumble. Honest.


Sarah Cox arrived! Yeah! I love Sarah Cox.  Lovely, lovely, lovely Sarah Cox and used to be the legs of Pretty Polly. You see, I get all the facts for you. Sarah will be doing our live links from Dusseldorf. BBC Three tonight. 2000 – 2200. Don’t miss it. I’ve also been told to say you can tweet @bbceurovision, though I don't fully understand what that means if I'm honest.

 Inside the Dusseldorf Arena for Eurovision 2011

Sarah’s first job was to film a piece showing the journey from her TV position to her commentary position. Imagine if you will the journey from Wembley Stadium pitch, to the gantry, but using only stairs. That’s what the poor love has to do three times during the show.  You can see the film this evening during the show. We had to film it twice – I don’t know why. The first time looked great to me.  But Lyndon, our AP said “just for safety”. I’ll give him just for bloomin’ safety. I had to run up and down those stairs with him. Sarah is fit as a fiddle. Lyndon is about 12 years old. I’m an old hag with fat thighs and an occasional smoking habit.


Back at the hotel we prepared for the Israeli party. I don’t think one can ever prepare enough for the Israeli party. It’s always a brilliant, chaotic affair and this year made all the more so as Dana International was appearing. Well, at least that’s what we were told. “She’ll be here in 15 minutes”, “She’ll be here in 5 minutes”, “She’s on her way”. Well, she never turned up. So Blue performed a rather lovely a capella version of “I Can” segueing into “Too Close”…and we made our excuses and left. I was arrested on the way out by Mossad, but that’s another story. 



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