UK Politics

Nigel Farage blasts Eurovision 'prejudice' against UK

Molly Smitten-Downes and Nigel Farage
Molly Smitten-Downes (l) is representing the UK, but Mr Farage warned she could face "prejudice"

Nigel Farage has said bias against Britain in the Eurovision song contest shows how hard it will be for the UK to secure a good deal renegotiating its relationship with the EU.

Asked on his regular LBC radio phone-in whether he watches Eurovision, the UKIP leader said: "I absolutely hate it."

PM David Cameron has pledged to alter the UK's balance of power with the EU.

But Mr Farage said this was "really quite funny", given the "level of prejudice" against British singers.

The song contest, which first took place in 1956, is set to draw to a climax in Copenhagen on Saturday.

The UK has won five times in Eurovision's history, but not since 1997. In 2013, the UK finished in 19th place.

'Better chance'

Mr Farage suggested the BBC's coverage of the event had deteriorated in recent years.

Sir Terry Wogan handed over Eurovision duties to Graham Norton in 2009

"I must say in the years when Terry Wogan was the compere, it was actually laugh-out-loud stuff, the way that he just mocked and parodied the whole thing," he said.

"But to see the level of prejudice that is now levelled against us at the Eurovision song contest, and then to believe that Mr Cameron is going to go to Brussels and renegotiate a good deal for us, it's really quite funny all round."

Meanwhile, the PM was asked during an interview on BBC Radio Suffolk whether he would be tuning in.

He replied: "Probably not, if I'm absolutely honest, but I gather that the British entry has got a slightly higher chance than usual, is that right?"

Interviewer Mark Murphy asked if he knew who was representing the UK. "The awful thing is, you've got me there, I don't," Mr Cameron said.

He added: "Is Terry Wogan still doing it? He was great, wasn't he? He still is great."

Sir Terry gave up the presenting job in 2008 and was replaced by Graham Norton.

More on this story