Rotterdam 2021🇬🇧 United Kingdom

🇬🇧 BBC dismisses viewer complaints regarding Eurovision 2021

The BBC published a statement following complaints

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.


  1. It must be good when you can just dismiss critical comments, and just how do you say it\’s cost effective, its a cost yes but not value for money,and where do you conjure up viewing numbers the bbc is a bias company with political views,and chooses who it supports, it was the anniversary of the Falklands where 255 servicemen gave there lives and not a mention, the bbc is a despised organisation who blows its own trumpet,I don\’t have a licence, I don\’t watch the bbc.

  2. And that proves that the BBC are only interested in our TV licence money and not our views. Maybe we should ALL boycott Eurovision next year and nobody watch it and maybe then they\’ll take the hint! BBC are all europhiles still sulking over the Brexit result.

  3. We should come out of it we do have some really good songs but I know however good our sons are we are never going to get any points again so waste of money & embarrassment for our singers when they try there hardiest

  4. Why Oh Why do we allow ourselves to be humiliated every year with this farce! How can they say it\’s non- political? Every country votes in favour of it\’s allies and shows prejudice against others. I used to be a big supporter of the BBC but find it has stooped to showing rubbish game shows and so-called \” Celebrity\” junk programmes instead of quality Comedy, Documentaries and Drama. Poor value for us licence payers. I agree that the current crop of people running things are too dismissive of fair criticism. Scrap Eurovision !!

  5. I think the event is puerile. I don’t watch it. When I encounter clips of the event or news coverage the decision not to watch is reinforced. At least for me it’s a waste of money.

  6. The BBC should stop being one of the main Financial contributors to the Eurovision we don\’t need to prove ourselves to anyone. Then our entry would be like other countries and have to go through the semi-finals. If we don\’t get through to the finals like some other countries that\’s fine, it will be less humiliating for all even the poor contestant. Because we are a main contributor we automatically go through to the finals, this is the mistake we keep making there\’s no experience in the Arena for the contestant and no feedback.

  7. Best Eurovision for years. Loved it. Very entertaining and watched it along with friends in Europe. Scoring was less political than in recent years and the public vote is a great idea. Speaking to loads of my friends, they lived it too. Keep it going we say. It\’s all a bit of fun.

  8. Arrogantly dismissive of the BBC.
    They are embarrassing themselves by what is
    either blatant lies or self-delusion.
    To allow us to be humiliated year after year
    by those with axes to grind is basically
    self-mutilation… The BBC should be utterly
    ashamed that they provide the platform for this
    to happen.
    It is NOT a competition. It IS an arena for sticking
    in the political boot. We are not stupid BBC so
    Please don\’t treat us as such.
    Have some pride and invest our money elsewhere.

  9. I\’m not going to sit and say there isn\’t some political voting (Greece/Cyprus anyone?) but I can\’t believe so many people are being sucked into the narrative that the UK got 0 points because of Brexit. No. Just no. The UK got 0 points because it was a mediocre song performed very badly, from a singer who was out of tune and out of breath. James seems like a lovely lad but I\’m sure he\’ll be the first to admit that wasn\’t one of his better performances.
    I\’d seriously question the selection process. Look at Sweden and Finland for example, their selection processes are so good and they always do well. The Melodifestivalen (SWE) and UMK (FIN) both use selection juries from across Europe (including the UK!) so they are basically asking in advance who people would vote for once Eurovision comes around. They are so much better prepared, and the UK needs to implement a better selection process instead of crying politics.

  10. Maybe the UK should start selecting the song and artist by popular vote as in many other countries, and also joining the semifinals. To be honest, the British contestent this year, I think I would drink a couple of pints with him in a Pub, but I wouldn\’t want him to sing.
    The Songs that landed at the bottom, like the Brittish, the Dutch and the Germans, it was well deserved that they landed where they did.
    Stop trying to compose a song and select a candidate that you think would be a Eurovision contender, start writing really good songs and send talent. It is not that the British Musik industry has a lack of talent.

  11. The popular vote is heavily influenced by current politics so that reflects on how much a country is liked. The BBC. Can\’t control that. And I\’m sorry James but our song was not really good a though I don\’t think Italy should have won either

  12. I think the show was very good this year,
    despite our result. There were a lot of good songs.
    I think the problem is that there are millions of fans
    That watch it and live it, but the music industry in
    The UK doesn\’t take it seriously. Other countries
    Have a big music competition Like XFactor or BGT
    And the winner has the privilege of representing
    Their country. If we did something like that and
    Really put the effort it would mean something and
    We would hopefully do better. Yes neighbouring
    Countries do vote for each other, due to cultural
    Similarities but for a song to win it has to have
    Been given good votes by most countries. You
    Have to be in every country\’s top ten to get any
    Points. I am from the UK, and even if I could have
    Voted for the UK, it was not in my top ten of songs
    On the night. It is not about the politics it is about
    The quality of the song and act were put forward.
    If we take it more seriously maybe other countries
    Would take us more seriously. After a terrible year
    It was great to have it back and to just have a bit
    Of glitz and fun. Well done Rotterdam. You did a
    Great job x

  13. As a UK citizen of course i want to see us win or at least place on the left hand side of the leaderboard, but we have no god given right to either of these, you have to earn that right and taking nothing away from James\’s performance quite frankly the song this year was not good enough. If you think about it each country (both Jury and televote) can only vote for 10 songs – really was our entry, would have said was one of the ten best, i certainly would not, i am not saying it was the worst i.e. the 26th but it was not one of the top 10. If each country ( both Jury and televoters) even thought our entry was their 11th favorite it would still NOT score a point and have ended up last (as it did). Whilst i accept there are some political persuasions within the voting i really do not think this was the case here. As for the show itself i will always watch it, regardless of want the BBC choose to do because i am a Eurovision fan. From a UK perspective we need to take the competition with a bit of seriousness as many other countries do to stand any chance of winning or indeed being on the left side of the leaderboard….my opinion

  14. The words of songs might not be political. The votes certainly are !
    What is the point in entering a competition you know you cannot win.
    Friends voting for friends. I don’t watch it and resent my BBC fee being used for
    such programs. I hate to think how much the presenters get paid when the money
    could be used in better ways. But then I don’t believe in the BBC wage structure
    anyway when compared with the remuneration that other workers get in the UK.
    Unfortunately the world is all about “Them and Us”
    It can never be fair as long as those making the rules stand to gain the most.

  15. If the expats didn\’t see it as a joke and voted in France, Spain, Germany and so on, we wouldn\’t be last.

  16. Easiest way to reject the BBC\’s findings is to stop paying their license fee!! Biggest con ever! BBC paedo gravy train. Fuck the BBC!! Don\’t watch their shite!!

  17. How can you say it\’s not political, you have countries who are close to each other give each other the highest votes and this year because of Brexit we get nothing, the UK is hated and the BBC put a lot of money into this competition for them to humiliate us, ok next year put one of our phenomenal groups who have toured the world and let\’s see how that goes

  18. The issue is not to do with any individual UK song entry. Since public voting was established there has been what appears to be voting based on a \’public political mood\’. I would suggest that there either be removal of the public vote with a clearer and more precise technical expert vote that sits within clear parameters which can be scrutinised – to reduce the capacity for a \’neighbour vote\’. Otherwise, if public voting is retained, then there be two awards – 1. The official judges vote (using the aforementioned improved criteria) for which the main prize is awarded, and 2. A \’Viewers Vote\’ winner as a supplementary award.

  19. Stop complaining and start competing in the
    semi finals like most of the countries
    have you do. Instead of buying yourselves
    into the finals. Now THAT world be fair.
    It would mean for the UK to step up it\’s
    game and work for a place in the finals.

  20. I love Eurovision, we always use it as an excuse for a party. Lighten up and get the beers in, it\’s Eurotrash fun!

    Also: John\’s comment \’we aren\’t in Europe any more\’ is exactly why we should have been educated about Brexit before we went to vote. Politics needs to be taught in school alongside history.

    We can\’t change our geographical location, John, we are still European!

  21. Yes it is a waste of licence fee payers money, it was a great song not to give it a single point was obsolutly political. All it does is give D list celebrities lots of money along with the anti democratic BBC. We are a proud and fair minded country and should not be treated in this dispicable way by so called friends and neighbours.

  22. Its political and has been for years. Its an embarrassment, year after year we have our talent give they\’re best only to watch red faced as they remain at the bottom of the score board. Let\’s face it today voting is based on who\’s scratching who\’s back or who wants what..
    Talent, music and performance has become secondary.
    We\’ve become a laughing stock.
    BBC… We pay good money for entertainment not this farce.

  23. Total waste of money. Why are we so afraid of taking our chances instead of buying a definite place? Because it is so political and we would never get voted into the finals. If I wer paying the licence fee I would be furious, but thankfully I stopped paying it a few years ago. My campaign now is to do away with legislation that says you need one to watch any live TV. Then the BBC will be up the creek without any toilet paper

  24. Always a dull performance. Countries we forget exist put on better shows than UK. It\’s a joke. Pull out!!!!!!

  25. Get a grip people. Netherlands won last year but came third last this time. They\’re not complaining \’everyone hates us, it\’s all political\’. Until the UK treats it seriously we\’ll continue to do badly. An average song by a poor singer with no stage presence is never going to crack it.

  26. I never trust the BBC when they are not upfront about costs. Normally means they are paying thousands of licence payers pounds that the licence payer would not be happy if they knew the spend. I\’m guessing its over or close to a million.

  27. Read some reviews and apart from a couple, they are all saying the same. Political, friendship votes, dislike of our country and other reasons not to vote for us. Firstly, our song and singer were very amatourish and if we can,t get together and perform a better and more professional song, then it,s time to pack it in all together. bbc have been wasteful for numerous years for paying discusting wages to personell who are not worth the sort of monies they are getting. They prefer to take money from our senior citizens for licence fees, for very mediocre programmes they dish out.

  28. Of course the BBC should continue to show the Eurovision song contest, which is provenl very popular. Objections are really just sour grapes about the UK\’s nul points – a good performer, but the song less artistically from the heart than most other entries. Try an unpretentiously truly artistic song next year – such as Anne Seagull\’s The Game Of Our Lives or Everyone\’s An Ambassador next time – with all kinds of performance style possibilities – and the UK might have a better chance – see!

  29. BBC needs to stop blowing licence payers money on the Eurovision Song Contest. We are paying top dollar for public humiliation.

  30. It’s about time we come out of this waste of time every year it gets worse. …..and as for the BBC it’s about time they started listening to the people that pay their licences…how dare they disregard us..most of what they put on is crap or only for the woke brigade…?that all I have to say…..Barbara-Ann Denniss

  31. Yeah we should continue. Part of it might be political but honestly our entry this year was crap and we didn\’t deserve any points. The UK coasts through to the finals because we pay to do so and it shows. Our act shouldn\’t have made it into the finals.

  32. 7.4million viewers on BBC alone. One of the biggest music productions in the world. I wouldn\’t call that a waste of money.

  33. Dear British people, why don\’t you start sending entries with 1) a good song (song was quite great this year I must say, I put it in my playlist), 2) a good LIVE singer (not so ok this year I\’m afraid) and 3) a good staging and styling to match it (also a bit random this year, but at least the effort was made). Those 3 elements need to be all right to score some points. Especially vocal flaws in the live rendition are a turn off for voters.

    You have the biggest and best music industry in Europe, why can\’t you manage this for Eurovision? And stop talking about political or friendly voting please. I\’m from the Netherlands and we have basically no voting friends in Europe (except for maybe Belgium, but hey, the UK has Ireland and maybe Australia too). How on earth could we have won this thing if voting was all political and blocs of friends? And who do you suppose are Italy\’s friends then, and why? Or Israel\’s? Or Portugal\’s? Just tick all 3 boxes next year and you\’ll be fine in Eurovision.

  34. Hardly political, there are always block votes, but they don\’t produce the winner, germany, israel, netherlands, italy, portugal,austria, are some of the recent winners and don\’t even belong to any blocks.

    The uk song was dreadful, the presentation was dreadful, the singer regrettable.

    The audience realizes that the UK is not interested and responds accordingly. the song didn\’t even chart on the UK top 40, why would it resonate in Europe? if you look at the entries of the UK in the past years, its shocking how forgetful they all are. the UK has scored LAST 5 times in the past 20 years. and haven\’t actually tried to produce anything worthwhile since Blue in 2011.

    As long as the the BBC treats it like a cheeky drinking game television show of silly outfits and accents its gonna be treated as such by the audience.

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