The BBC has announced their full coverage plans for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. As well as the live broadcast of all three shows from Rotterdam, UK viewers will be treated to a wide range of additional Eurovision content throughout the month.
As in previous years, both semi-finals will be broadcast live on BBC Four. The commentary team will be led by Rylan Clark-Neal, Scott Mills, and Chelcee Grimes. In his 12th year, Graham Norton will provide commentary duties for the grand final on BBC One.
BBC Four will dedicate a whole evening to the contest on Friday 21st May. Rylan Clark-Neal narrates a guide to all things Eurovision in The A-Z of Eurovision, first broadcast in 2020. Viewers will then have another chance to catch the BBC’s Eurovision at 60 documentary, featuring interviews with Graham Norton, Conchita Wurst, Sir Terry Wogan, and a whole host of other stars. And It wouldn’t be a Eurovision night without some ABBA! – A reshowing of Abba at the BBC will round off the evening.
Eurovision Collection comes to BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer, the broadcaster’s online VOD service, will honor the contest with a special Eurovision collection. Eurovision 2021: The Road To Rotterdam is a brand new documentary from Radio 1 Newsbeat, coming to the platform on 17th May. The behind the scenes special will give exclusive access to James Newman as he prepares to represent the UK. The documentary also features many of the other 38 acts to show how they’ve been navigating a global pandemic to get to the Netherlands.
Classic Eurovision Song Contest finals will also be made available to BBC iPlayer users for the first time. Other programming from the collection includes a selection of music shows, including a Top of the Pops Eurovision Special.
Eurovision programming blankets Radio 2 schedule
BBC Radio 2 will celebrate the contest across the station. In the week’s building up to the event, OJ Borg will be playing his very own Eurovision One Hit Wonders. As well as providing live radio commentary of the grand final, Ken Bruce will present a special Eurovision-themed edition of his breakfast show, where he’ll be catching up with reigning winner, Duncan Laurance and hearing from two of the contest’s main presenters, Jan Smit and Edsilia Rombley. Zoe Ball, Steve Wright and Sara Cox will also feature contest build up coverage on their shows.
On Saturday 22nd May, the station’s output will be entirely dedicated to the contest. Dermot O’ Leary will speak to two time Eurovision winner, for Ireland, Johnny Logan. Claudia Winkleman will be chatting live to James Newman, hours before he takes to the stage. Ken Bruce will count down The UK’s All Time Eurovision Top 50 between 1.00pm – 3.00pm. Rylan & Scott Mills will be joined by Michelle Visage for Rylan and Scott’s Eurovision Party. As the pre-show nerves kick in, Sophie Ellis Bextor will get listeners in the mood with Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Eurovision Kitchen Disco between 6-8pm. Following the main event, Richie Anderson will end proceedings with Richie Anderson’s Eurovision After Party.
“Radio 2 is full of pride to be the radio home of Eurovision once again this year. Across our shows and on BBC Sounds we’ll be bringing listeners all the excitement of the build-up, the semi-finals, the dress rehearsals, and the show itself – presided over by our King of Eurovision, Ken Bruce.”Laura Busson, Radio 2 Commissioning Executive
The BBC’s online audio platform, BBC Sounds, will also feature a host of Eurovision programming. A Eurovision edition of My Life in a Mixtape will see 2012 winner, Loreen, playing songs that have meant the most to her and helped to shape her musical journey. After the Grand Final, from Sunday morning Visage’s Eurovision Review will be available with Michelle Visage giving her review of the highs and lows of the Eurovision 2021 final. Several classic Eurovision-related radio shows from the BBC’s archive will also be made available.
Speaking of the BBC’s extensive Eurovision coverage this year, Director of Entertainment, Kate Phillips, says:
‘Eurovision is coming back with a boom bang a bang to the BBC this year! After a year without the live contest, we can’t wait for it to return bigger and better. We’ll be celebrating Eurovision across the BBC on all our platforms, from TV, Radio and Online. Over on BBC Four, coverage will go beyond the Semi-Finals, where viewers can watch some classic Eurovision moments from across the years. Radio 2 continues to be the home of Eurovision on the airwaves, and Radio 1 Newsbeat brings an exclusive documentary to iPlayer following James Newman and his journey to Rotterdam! Not forgetting the Grand Final over on BBC One, plus so much more brilliant Eurovision content not to be missed this May on the BBC!’