Last night you asked the people of the United Kingdon to choose the song that will represent them at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. You spend vast amounts of the money that the people of the United Kingdom pay you by purchasing an annual T.V licence, yet you decide to televise last night’s show on BBC4! Why?
If you are going to take the Eurovision Song Contest seriously, shouldn’t you be televising the chance for viewers in the UK to choose their song on BBC1 or, at the very least, on BBC2? Why do you choose to broadcast the show on a channel that lays deep within your vaults and which many will probably never have watched?
Why did you choose not to advertise last night’s event very much and to not have given it the attention it deserves when you spend so much money on it? Why did you instead choose to show a rugby match on BBC1? Could that not have been moved to BBC2 so that the chance for the people of the United Kingdom to choose their song for the biggest singing contest in the world had pride of place on BBC1? After all, you do spend vast amounts of our money on the Eurovision Song Contest. If you didn’t want to screen last night’s show on BBC1 then why not have screened it on BBC2 in place of showing a programme about Queen Victoria’s Children and a repeat of ‘Dad’s Army’ both, of which, could have been shown at another time?
Why hold the event on a Friday evening rather than on a Saturday evening? Why did you, BBC, decide that the people of the United Kingdom had to choose their song on a Friday, rather than a Saturday night?
I don’t think it has anything to do with the people of Europe not liking us, BBC. No, I think that it is because you seem to be quite embarrassed by the whole Eurovision thing. Noted that you will screen the Eurovision Song Contest final on BBC1, but I do wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the contest attracts the biggest TV audience in the world. 200 million people are, after all, a big pull.
Once again, BBC, by giving the Eurovision Song Contest a fourth citizen status, you have made the whole process of choosing a winning song into a joke. Some European countries take weeks to choose their song and, by doing so, get most of the people of that country behind them. Some European countries advertise the event and ensure the event is screened on a prime channel and on a prime day.
When we were winning the contest or ensuring we kept our record for coming second, you would preview all the entries from the various participating countries on a teatime Sunday afternoon show over a couple of weeks. We’d go on and either win the contest or, at least, finish in the top ten during those years. Why do you no longer do that BBC? Back then, the people of Europe could see that you were serious about the contest and that you were proud to televise and promote it.
This year we have two young singers, Joe and Jake, who will now represent the United Kingdom at this year’s final. After watching last night’s show I did think we’d be in with a chance of finishing in the top 10. However, after writing this letter to you, BBC, I think you’ve probably already relegated these two budding pop stars to the music store bargain bin.
It’s time to start taking The Eurovision Song Contest seriously, BBC. If you’re not going to be serious about it then stop being one of its biggest sponsors and even think seriously about letting somebody else do it on behalf on the people of the United Kingdom.
I’ll still be flying the flag for the United Kingdom on May 14th, the night of this year’s final, but will you, BBC, be flying the flag for the contest in 2017?
Hugh Roberts ( A very disillusioned fan of the BBC )
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