The BBC has dismissed complaints about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after several viewers complained to the broadcaster that the contest is “political” and a waste of money. The grand final was watched by an average of 7.4 million people on BBC One last Saturday.
The UK’s broadcaster published a statement on Friday saying that the programming is “cost effective” and non-political. They added that the EBU ensure measures are put in place to stop the contest from being seen as political. This year, Belarus were disqualified from taking part in Rotterdam after submitting an entry that “put the non-political nature of the Contest in question”.
“Staple springtime viewing”
After receiving complains from viewers calling the contest “political”, the BBC issued a statement online which dismissed these claims.
The accusation that the contest’s voting is ‘political’ is nothing new. The EBU is strongly committed to secure the fairness of the Eurovision Song Contest and has implemented a wide range of measures to ensure this.– BBC’s response to viewer complaints
With viewers also complaining that Eurovision is a “waste of the license fee”, the BBC also reinforced that the contest attracts millions of viewers in the UK and that it has been a popular show since it began in 1956.
Ever since the Eurovision Song Contest first burst onto our television screens in 1956, the competition has continued to be staple springtime viewing for BBC audiences.
Eurovision is the most watched, live non-sporting event in the world and the 2021 Contest provided BBC viewers with over eight hours of content in three shows. The Grand Final on BBC One attracted an average of 7.4 million viewers. It is extremely cost effective for a popular prime time entertainment programme.– BBC’s response to viewer complaints
Graham Norton provided commentary for this year’s Grand Final on BBC One. Coverage of the semi-finals was broadcast on BBC Four with commentary from Scott Mills, Sara Cox and Chelcee Grimes.
United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021
James Newman was chosen to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam with the song “Embers”. James was originally due to represent the United Kingdom in 2020 with “My Last Breath”, before the contest was cancelled.
In a first under the new voting system, the United Kingdom scored “nul points” in the grand final. This is the UK’s second “nul points” entry after Jemini in 2003. In the televote, 60% of countries placed “Embers” in the bottom two. The UK’s highest result came from the Polish jury who placed the song in 11th place.
Do you agree with the BBC’s statement? Do you think the UK should continue to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA.