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1998 Eurovision host Ulrika Jonsson: “I fell out of love with TV”

Last year, Ulrika Jonsson and Terry Wogan were named the most memorable Eurovision hosts of the 1990s by readers. However, in recent years, Ulrika has disappeared from British television screens. Therefore, yesterday the 1998 Eurovision host appeared on ITV’s This Morning to explain how she “fell out of love with TV”.

“I had a self-imposed exile”

Ulrika has barely been seen on TV since the beginning of this decade following her appearance on Ultimate Big Brother. She had been chosen to take part in this celebratory series after her victory in Celebrity Big Brother the previous year. Speaking on This Morning, Ulrika explains the reasons for her absence:

“These days everybody’s a star. I had a self-imposed exile. I also wasn’t being offered the sort of work I wanted to do.”

“There was definitely a sort of falling out of love with it. At one stage I was going to do a documentary about female equality but for men – I had a meeting and it became so gimmicky, nothing serious, it had to grab the viewer.” (Daily Mail)

“A long time ago, was it?”

Ulrika rose to fame in the 1990s, quickly becoming one of the UK’s most sought after television presenters. This made her a natural fit to host the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest alongside Terry Wogan, after Katrina and the Waves brought the contest to the UK for the first time since 1982. She also provided one of the most memorable moments in Eurovision voting history!

1965 Dutch representative Conny Vandenbos was the spokesperson for The Netherlands, and Ulrika engaged in chit-chat with Conny as is always the case in Eurovision voting sequences. Conny talks about her own Eurovision experience to which Ulrika, now infamously, responded: “a long time ago, was it?”. Ulrika immediately realised what she had just unintentionally said, and the reactions were priceless! You can relive this memorable moment in the video below.

“I’m not against doing more TV”

Ulrika is about to return to the spotlight on Celebrity Masterchef, and now explains that she “would certainly not be against doing more TV” in the future. Presumably, she just needs the right offer. Perhaps she could present another Eurovision Song Contest? Come on UK, grab that win for Ulrika!

Did you watch *that* moment in the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest? Would you like to see Ulrika back in the Eurovision bubble? Let us know in the comments below!

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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